Vale of the Black Toad is a commission piece that Rik designed for Evelyn Gilbert. It is a pure fantasy piece specifically created to house her collection of black elves and an old, haggard mermaid sitting upon a rock on the edge of the lake. This medieval gothic and tudor style castle with its waved course roof is filled with fantasy and whimsy. Rik's original castings of gargoyles, gothic windows and doors allude to the dark side of this enchanting castle. And the interior is as stunning as the outside with its beautiful faux marble floor and detailed stairs and railings.
Evelyn has taken numerous classes with Rik, and he has had the priviledge of holding classes in her home in Maryland. She is an avid miniaturist at heart and has quite an extensive collection of his pieces and those of other artisans on display in her home.