This design was for a national convention that was scheduled to be in person but had to be changed to a virtual one after another COVID lockdown was imposed.
My idea for the design didn’t change, in fact it was easier to be more creative as I didn’t have to contend with the need to transport components of the design and set a timing for staging it.
So I took my time to get each component as perfect as possible as there is a lot of measured construction to this design.
The base is a piece of timber with some jute string wrapped around it to soften the visual impact and repeat the use of jute in other areas of the design. Gumnuts are glued to the base for the same reason. The three skewers are place holders for later plant material insertion. At the back I have screwed in some “U” brackets to hold the Xanthorrhoea flower spikes as I felt this was the best way to maintain physical balance of the design.
The Xanthorrhoea are notorious for breaking, as these did, so a quick glue session made them whole again. The handy bookshelf kept them rigid until the glue dried!
Horizontal arms (also Xanthorrhoea) are screwed into the uprights with jute to cover the join as well as at the top of the stem where the flower spike starts.
I took some time to layout the placements so that they were both visually and physically balanced using kangaroo paw, woolly bush, gumnuts, banksia foliage and pine cones. None of the fresh materials requires a water source as all will dry naturally.
The gumnuts have been drilled to allow for threading on to a skewer as had the pine cone. Skewers made placement in the drilled holes along the horizontal arm easier than any other method of attachment. It also allowed for space between each placement and continuation of the lines of the design.
The other side of the design was a close mirror of the first.
For the space between, I had hoped to have a diagonal line of craspedia to move the eye from one horizontal arm to the bottom of the flower spike on the other side. This just looked too busy as a final design. I tried single placements which also didn’t have the effect I wanted.
Finally I thought to add strelitzia foliage but have cut it down to a more suitable shape and size. Naturally I had a curvy stem that wouldn’t do as it was told so made a feature of it by creating some tension with a crossed line. The two outer leaves are placed on skewers showing in the base whilst the middle one is pushed down to meet the base – just another little way to create interest and repetition in the design.
This design was awarded Highly Commended.
Judges Comments: A very creative design depicting the class title New Visions. Good contrasting forms and textures, good space created with the mirrored ladder effect of the plant materials.
To bring more unity add 1-2 cones into the middle of your design offset with space under them, this would take the textures through giving visual balance. Very clever concept.