Legend has it most mythological gnomes live underground, though that is a bit of a misnomer for “Ms. Gnomer.”
The papier-mâché and cement creature, formed by Kelly Whitney-Gould, has opened a “Home 4 Wayward Folk” above ground in Port Clements, on a grassy corner near the sani-station.
Whitney-Gould told the Observer she started the project in April after a tree was cut down outside her home. Rather than allow the stump to become an “eye sore,” she decided to do something special.
“I really enjoy the gnomes and I like doing whimsical kinds of pieces,” she said, adding that she finished the project about a month ago.
She built most of the gnome house outside on the stump for all to see, starting with a wire mesh frame before adding her mortar mix.
The finished piece — which she estimates weighs at least a couple hundred pounds — includes the Ms. Gnomer figurine, a posted lunch menu of sandwiches and free frog’s eye soup, a Smurf-blue staircase, wooden stained “glass” window, as well as adornments of mushrooms, marbles, seashells, and more.
She said notes of appreciation have been left at the gnome house since it was completed and loggers have stopped to shout out their thanks.
Whitney-Gould also built another gnome house earlier this year that went into the All Islands’ Art Show.
That one, currently inside the Haida Gwaii Museum, is made from cedar, topped with shingles, and filled with hardwood floors, furniture, and miniature books.
Next, she hopes to create “some sort of gnome castle” somewhere in the village that would be big enough for kids to go inside and play.
As a resident with a background in tourism, she said it’s extremely valuable to demonstrate community pride through projects such as these.
“I really do feel that some of these projects are a real support to the community and they benefit the community in a lot of ways,” she said.
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