Roses and Feathers

For those of you who are regular readers, you will know that I do not particularly enjoy designing with roses. There is an annual competition, however, that has as one of its 6 competition days, a day where only roses can be used.

True to my “competition tragic” status, I give this day a try each year, trying to find a style that works for me using roses.

The class title for this was “Roses and Feathers”. The temptation with feathers is to use either real or manufactured ones and as these are not plant material, it can be easy to allow them to dominate the design rather than the plant material.

My solution was to make “feathers” from plant material. Research on YouTube gave me the technique for using rope or string (both allowed as being derived from plant material) to make feather shapes. It is a macrame technique that is very simple to master – give it a go.

This is an all around design so it needs to be interesting from every side. Using a timber lamp base, I have attached a circular shape of mesh from a metal ring, suspended with rustic wire. Vials for the roses and foliage are covered with the same string as was used to make the feathers. large and small feathers are draped around the mesh in a spiral.

Review comments: Looking back at this design some 18 months later, I can see a whole lot of issues with it. Firstly, there is simply not enough roses to take away from the heaviness of the lamp base. Secondly, the string feathers are too soft so don’t really look like feathers, losing their shape outline in the way they have been placed. Thirdly, and probably most importantly, the rustic wire holding the mesh in place is both messy and too dominant.

Overall not a good design although a did learn a new technique along the way!

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