Wander Over Yonder

I like doing designs that are judged “all around”. It makes me focus on a design being interesting from all angles. The added challenge with this design is that I had to travel to the venue (5 hour flight, 2 hour train) so the design structure had to be one I could pack and reassemble at the competition. The plant material was being supplied by a local – all I had to determine beforehand was the amount and type of material I wanted to use. This is about planning – yes, I like to see what plant material looks in the best condition for my design and yes, I am used to choosing from plant material on the farm that is still growing, but as a designer who likes to travel, I’ve educated myself to plan a complete design and research local suppliers close to the competition venue.

This design was to be staged on a supplied plinth and the space allowed was 1m square – this provides the opportunity to have the design cover some of the plinth as part of the “height” component rather than have it all above the top of the plinth.

My structure is a length of decorative wire mesh that covers the top and extends down two sides sufficiently to allow for a total height of less than 80cm. As a rule of thumb, judges seem to prefer that a design uses between 75% and 90% of the space allocated.

I have used a combination of toilet paper rolls and coconut fibre rolls placed in a spiral starting at one corner of the lowest point of the wire and finishing in the centre of the top. These have randomly placed vials for the plant material that required a water source – those not inside the rolls have been covered with twine.

Plant material is silver gum leaf, kangaroo paw and Geraldton wax. Gumnuts, both sprays and large singles, have been placed throughout the design as well.

Judges comments: An innovative structure and interpretation of the class title. The structure itself appears to have lost shape, plant material is not used to its best advantage – placements are too close to one another.

My review comments: I had great hopes for this design after a long time spent in the planning. In practice, it came together well on the day with some excellent plant material. However I did have difficulty balancing the plant material in the vials as the wire mesh was not as stiff as it should have been to maintain the desired shape as well as support the placements. This meant I had to add tie wires to some of the placements, in turn detracting from the overall look I wanted to achieve. Additionally I can now see that many of the placements are the same or very similar height which does not enhance the spiral effect I was hoping for to reflect the title of “Wander Over Yonder”. Lots of lessons!

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