Bark and Bamboo

If you are a regular here you will probably recognise part of this design – the vase and cork structure. The other design using this idea can be viewed by clicking here.

Naturally it is not considered appropriate to simply re-use a design in a number of different competitions. You can try it but I know from experience that a judge will either recognise it directly or, most commonly these days, will have seen it somewhere on social media. This generally means downpointing – why would you risk that as well as not stretch your creativity?

Thinking about the class title for this design, I decided (no surprise) to make my use of bamboo as secondary to the bark. Bamboo is a material that we are restricted in using for some competitions as it is a declared noxious weed in some areas of Australia. This means that when it can be used, the tendency of some competitors is to make it the feature of a design.

The feature of my design is the solid piece of bark at the back of the design, placed upright to enable the vase to sit inside it for additional support. The vase has a kenzan (pinholder) in the base covered with coconut fibre and one cork with the cork “raft” at the top allowing for placement of the kangaroo paw through the bamboo skewer mesh.

Given the rough texture of the bark piece I chose to use a single flower for the placements. The kangaroo paw gives good vertical lines and is sufficiently smooth to provide textural contrast as well.

This design placed second.

Judges comments: Well balanced visually with the large bark placement not dominating by virtue of the staging at an angle from the front viewing. The horizontal placements of the bamboo skewers extend a little too far outside the strong vertical lines of the design.

My review comments: I agree with the judges comment regarding the bamboo skewers. The interesting point for me is that I have only just seen this when looking at the image – I didn’t see it when staging the design or when looking at it after judging. I’ve often recommended that you take a photo of a design after you finish and before judging to see your design clearly, not with your “design” eyes filling in the gaps. Might be time to remember that for myself!

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