Practice Designs – Lockdown June 2020

Another chance to experiment with plant materials and structures during my first lockdown of 2020.

In clearing out my shed of “just in case / I might use that for a design” items, I came across some dried willow wreath shapes I had made when we were trimming the willow trees at the farm some years ago.

I don’t see wreath designs in competition very often so this was my chance to use the shape in a different way within a design. Added to that were some coconut fibre rolls on timber stakes from a local garden centre….picked up when I saw them “just in case I could use them one day….”

The coconut fibre rolls were a great success. I removed the solid timber stakes to be used elsewhere and found the coconut fibre rolls were self supporting, could be sliced to any width and fitted a water vial neatly inside the space left by removing the stake.

Using to medium size tree branches locked together, I have been able to place the wreath shape at a slight angle anchored to the branches with random placements of various size coconut fibre rolls. Within these are water sources for the grevillea flowers, westringia foliage and protea.

This was another part of the experiment – mixing the solid form of the protea with the more airy form of the grevillea flowers. The colours are almost identical so I wanted to see how they might work together in a design.

When you are experimenting or playing, you are carrying out an important part of developing as a designer. You need to understand which flowers “speak” to you as a designer and which ones you find it hard to design with in a creative sense. Never choose plant material you have not played with for a design – you need to know how it will work technically not just creatively!

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