One-a-Week Six: the wrap-up

For the play-by-play and strateigic thinking, there are more complete notes over at Flickr. Click on thumbnails below, see the photoset, or if you just want the overview check out the slideshow.

note: there are a few additional views of the pieces not included thumbnails here. Head over to Flickr and follow the photostream to see them all. Also, it is my intention to continue to take photos of the piece as it ages, out of curiosity as well as for data which might be helpful if I ever do another piece like this. Those photos will also be at Flickr, perhaps with a bit of a compiled update here.

In summation:

Materials used:

  • flowers: relatively common bouquet flowers, including small roses, a gerber daisy, a day lily, a mum stem, some statice , a few small branches with leaves, and plenty of freesia.
  • sweetgrass cord
  • some rough fiber twine
  • thin cotton string
  • one small test tube
  • several tiny glass vials from some ginseng extract
  • cork, from wine corks

Total spent: $25 for the flowers, all other materials were from my stash

Tools used: chef’s kitchen scissors (on flowers), jewelers saw (on the wine corks)

Things I learned?

  • predicting which flowers will last is tricky. (the roses deteriorated very quickly, but the freesia surprised me with it’s tenacity)
  • while large flowers are hard to resist, they make it more difficult to avoid the look of a corsage.
  • the balance between opulent and overdone can be a tricky one
  • sometimes less is more. Part of me thinks I should’ve gone for a more Ikebana-like simplicity like I had going on at about 2pm here.
  • seeing oneself as process-oriented can make it difficult to “do less” even when one’s eye tells you that it is pleasing.

Things I would do differently ‘next time’:

  • figuring out a way to get the vials to hold water while upside-down without leaking would’ve given me more options
  • forgo the larger flowers altogether
  • try another method of securing the necklace base, just to see what other possibilities might be
  • more long lasting foliage options would’ve been helpful, perhaps some fern or small ivy

Things I did poorly:

  • got sucked in by a few large, showy flowers when smaller would’ve been better
  • when purchasing the flowers, I didn’t think about the difficulty of making it look like a necklace rather than a corsage
  • resorted to using glass vials (though I made this choice consciously from the beginning, not in a last-minute panic)
  • didn’t realize that symmetry vs. asymmetry would be such a factor until the last minute.

Things I think I did well:

  • made a piece which celebrates color and spring, which was my goal
  • managed my time efficiently
  • when the material didn’t age as predicted ( the roses), still ‘made it work’
  • produced a piece which withstood being put on and taken off better than I expected (the freesia, in particular, didn’t fall apart and need to be replaced yet)
  • while I might have produced a much simpler piece, I think I avoided making something completely overdone
  • limited my use of non-plant materials to those which would allow the piece to last longer, didn’t rely on them for structure

Evaluation of final piece:

  • wearable?: yes, though it is clearly a piece to me made and worn for a specific occasion. You couldn’t wear it in any very active situation, and many folks wouldn’t have the patience to futz with getting it put on. However, I think it would withstand being worn to a garden party, and even could be made a day ahead of time.
  • durable?: to a degree (see wearable? above). I will continue to take photos for at least a few days, and we shall see how it fares.
  • visual appeal?: I’ve wanted to work more flower and plant imagery into my glasswork for years, and this has re-inspired that desire. Like some of the other challenge pieces, it is more feminine than I’d been making in recent years. Even though I don’t have a garden party to attend, making this felt like a lovely celebration of a long-awaited Spring. ANY INPUT ON THIS POINT WOULD BE WELCOMED!
  • concept? Is it jewelry or is it an overblown corsage?: hmmmm….I think that adjusting the cord so that it hung more asymmetrically helped with this issue, but I still think it looks a bit more like a flower boa than a necklace. It does make me think about the boundaries between jewelry and other things, which bears further thought. ANY THOUGHTS OR INPUT ON THIS POINT WOULD BE WELCOMED!

I think that’s it! This will be my last challenge for a while, though it was so rewarding that I’m sure that I’m not done with the idea entirely. Watch for a few upcoming posts on a few more things that I’ve learned over the course of the last six weeks, skills I think I’ve improved, and reasons why I’d recommend this sort of project to others.

For more on the challenge, see this weeks photoset
or all the One-a-Week Six posts here

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3 Comments

  1. What an inspiring project! This week’s work in particular is so exciting, with spring blossoming all around. You’ve done such a great job: the piece looks beautiful and your analysis is really helpful in pointing out where one can look to improve – especially in emphasising the positive aspects of a completed piece. A very good point to remember. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. I just followed up on the Ikebana link, and my mind is officially blown…
    http://www.sogetsu.or.jp/english/exhibition/archive.html

    Reply
  3. E-
    Thanks! The wrap-up’s started as a way to just get a week’s project out of my head so I could start the next one with a ‘clean slate.’ But I think they may become a way of stepping back and looking at more of my work. Because there’s always something one could do differently ‘next time.’

    As for Ikebana: yes, mind-blowing! A simplicity that calls attention to the natural world in a powerful concise way that I would love to be able to achieve with my jewelry.

    Thanks, for stopping by,
    kait

    p.s. I’m very interested to check your work out more. Was particularly intrigued by your science work, as I’ve always felt a dual pull between art and science….

    Reply

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