Contorted Control

From the Show Schedule: “Contorted Control”. To be staged on a supplied plinth, dimensions 1m high x 400mm square, coloured grey. Space allowed 1m square. Judged all around.

There are a couple of reasons I have used this design as this week’s example.

Firstly it incorporates the tatami style technique I highlighted in a technique post last month.

Secondly it is a design where the space allowed is larger than the staging. This is why I have included the listing from the Show schedule – so you can remember to read all the staging requirements before you decide to enter or start thinking about your design.

What this means in actual design terms, is that your structure needs to fit on the 400mm base but it must also be able to support a much wider design.

As you can probably recognise, I have used one of my favourite metal stands that has a small base supporting an elevated section most often used for the floral part of the design. You might commonly see these as table centres for functions – it means there can be a design at the table but you can still see and talk to people around the table.

Back to the design.

Looking at the words in the class title, I need to indicate with the plant material, items that are contorted either by nature or physically so that they are “controlled”.

I have used predominantly palm inflorescence. On the tree this can have wonderful natural shapes which I have highlighted by twisting it into the design or soaking in water to get a particular shape. By binding them using the tatami matting technique I have a long piece that can be twisted into the design as a feature from the top towards the base. Added to that are pieces of bark that have natural contortions mirroring the other shapes in the design as well as the “controlled” foliage of xanadu and westringia. We were required to incorporate roses so these have been “contorted” around other plant material in the design. Twisted flax and tortured willow circles hang from the design as well.

This design placed third. The judge would liked to have seen more “contortion” in the design as a whole – it appeared to be in two halves from some angles.

This is an important tip for “all around” designs as invariably you will work on one or two angles. Make sure you check it all around for interest at every angle before judging!

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