RA Pocket Shrine 7/? – A Special Mr Thornton

Would you like a look at Margaret Hales’ bedside table?

RA shrine (14 of 15)Margaret had taken off her jewellery for the night. Tired after a dinner invitation at the Thornton’s, she had lit her candle and retired to bed. Those Allenbury Pastilles were a godsend in the harsh, cold climate of a Northern town such as Milton. She had come to the habit of keeping them close at hand, savouring the blackcurrant sweetness while reading a chapter of her bedside literature, a sophisticated novel by Charlotte Bronte, entitled Jane Eyre. Margaret sighed contentedly, reflecting on the confusing exchanges of affection between Jane and Mr Rochester. How could love be so cruel? Was class to be considered before the bonds of love? No, for class was of man’s making, wheras love was a quality bestowed by God. Margaret’s eyes fluttered with exhaustion. She extinguished the candle and lay back on her linen pillow. The dark handsomeness of Mr John Thornton appeared in her mind’s eye. She fell into a peaceful slumber, the memory of Mr Thornton’s hand clasping hers still burning on her fingers…

Wakey-wakey! That was just the intro to the presentation of the latest RAPS but Guylty got carried away. Just like I got carried away when I was doing my customary shoot with my shrine creations last Saturday. Once again Mr Armitage has a good influence on my photographic practice. IMG_4412Not only do I enjoy drooling over his photos writing my *ooof*s, but he even motivates me to set up and style little still lives when I am documenting my shrine project. The latest Thornton shrine demanded a set-up contemporary to the time North and South is set in. Luckily I have a Georgian house at my disposal, and so the set-up was more or less ready-made. For a look behind the scenes of a Guylty RAPS photo shoot, I took a quick iPhone picture for you. There is the set-up in the drawing room, with my camera placed on a tripod in front of it. I did so for two reasons: a) I wanted to avoid shooting with strobes/flash because that would create shadows that made the still life look too contemporary. Shooting with available light, however, meant that I had to used slow shutter speeds which I would not be able to hand-hold. b) The table with the arranged objects was about waist-height – so even if I had shot with flash, it would have been very uncomfortable to hold heavy Marky Mark while bending down. Sciatica is calling.

If you have eagle eyes, you have already spotted the RAPS – Thornton Special in the shot. So here is a closer look at it.

RA shrine (12 of 15)

The RAPS – Thornton Special was created for Helen, herself an artist who creates beautiful jewellery made from glass. You may remember my post from three weeks ago when I received Helen’s package, supplying me with some tins and gifting me with some of her amazing jewellery which she creates in her own workshop and sells in her own shop in North Norfolk, UK. You ought to pop over to her website seahorsestudio.co.uk and have a look at the cute shop. Love those duck egg blue windows!

In return for her generosity I promised her a Thornton RAPS, and since no two of them are alike, this one had to be different from the one I made for Agzy.

RA shrine (4 of 15)

Thankfully, Helen had given me a few pointers as to which images of Mr Thornton she particularly liked. Thornton on the steps was her stipulation. I had to improvise a bit with the background of the diorama. The caps from the film did not show enough of the background, so I stitched it together from a couple of behind-the-scenes candids, and I added a bit of reference to Helen. But what you see above is only the half of it.

RA shrine (9 of 15)

Here’s the other half of the shrine. *That* look, the head inclined, the open collar – *ooof*. I personally would not mind being berated by Mr Thornton not to call him master in public… In fact, I’d probably provoke him at any given opportunity to say that to me.

RA shrine (11 of 15)

Would Margaret have enjoyed owning a personal Thornton shrine? Well, she “owned” the original Mr Thornton, lucky girl, so no need for a drooling aid…

RA shrine (1 of 15)

I’ll be returning to my workbench now, to work on Lucas North. Because Helen sent me another parcel with supplies of tins, beads and three adorable little glass sheep, and she deserves another RAPS for that πŸ™‚ And many many thanks for her generous and kind support. I am in tins and beads – and I love it.

Helens Shipment


28 thoughts on “RA Pocket Shrine 7/? – A Special Mr Thornton

  1. I’m still squealing too much to write anything rational πŸ˜€

    What Guylty didn’t tell you all was that she also sent me a framed copy of her fab profile shot of RA from Berlin so there is a very, very happy bunny over here πŸ˜€


        • Oh, bless bless bless, Mezz πŸ™‚ It’s great to hear that.
          I kept my “Portable Shrine” closed the past week (my folks were on visit… I just thought it was advisable to not fangirl too obviously in front of my parents…), and opening it again today felt as if I was seeing it for the first time…


  2. What a lovely setting for another very special creation! Doesn’t that arouse our clandestine Margret-moments inside all of us? Mmmmhhhhhh….


  3. Was that a ficlet+photography lesson+glimpse of a beautiful home AND a gorgeous shrine on top of it all? You really did get your mojo back! The caption is… Inspiring. Lucky Helen!


    • Ha – I didn’t even notice that, but yes, it was almost a four-in-one. See, that’s what he does to me πŸ˜‰
      The quote is rather thought-provoking indeed πŸ˜€


  4. In five hundred years someone is going to curate a exhibit of these — your name in art history will be “Master of the Armitage Shrine”.


  5. YouΒ΄re a real artist, the composition of this pic is wonderful. A lovely shrine placed between the perfect classic interior.
    Like the idea of Margaret reading Jane Eyre, because Jane Eyre is still my favourite period novel and watching the BBC-miniseries from 2006 brought back my love to period dramas. It didnΒ΄t took long to find an even more gorgeous, brooding and smouldering hero than Mr. Rochester, the rest is history πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Ute πŸ™‚
      Elizabeth Gaskell was actually a friend of Charlotte Bronte’s – that was why I worked the novel into my ficleteen πŸ™‚ Gaskell even wrote the first ever biography on Bronte. – I probably prefer Bronte to Gaskell, but her Mr Thornton is definitely better than the dubious playboy Rochester πŸ˜€


    • Jane Eyre is my favorite period novel too! I’ve watched all of the different screen versions (several times.)

      Of course Mr. Thornton outshines them all. I just watched some favorite parts before bed last night πŸ™‚


  6. Pingback: RA Pocket Shrine 32/? – Mr Thornton Travels | GUYLTY PLEASURE

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