Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another finished orchid

Now I can post this!

Orchid Shadow Box

I needed a bit of a refresher on how to make these orchids and Amber's birthday provided a perfect opportunity. Now that I've actually given it to her, I can put the picture up on the blog. I really need to lighten this picture, it's a little dark.

I must admit, starting to make this again was a little interesting. The notes I took made sense at the time, but looking back, I had to decipher them a bit. And there were some parts of the assembly that I did forget to write down...oh well. It was a good dry run for the pattern writing!

Materials and other techincal details for the beaders

I had bought these really amazing looking 2 cut beads in New York in January and I thought they looked perfect for an orchid. Amber, Patricia and Helena who were all with me at the time also loved those beads. So perfect, I had my main beads. The lesson learned from Anne's orchid was to use a bead for the sepals whose shade or finish is slightly different from the actual petals. I found some in Tohos at Bead Obsessions. Then I added in some yellow to accent. Once I had the flower colors settled, it was time to look towards the greenery portion of this plant. Well I have something like 3 master hanks of these size 10/0 olivine iris 3 cut beads that are just beautiful and I thought they would go very well with this plant. I strung them up and made the first leaf and it looked wonderful.

In all of this time, I was also thinking about the final presentation of the orchid. I was initially going to plant it in a pot, like a regular potted plant but at some point, I realized that Amber has very little surface space left in her place. While an potted orchid is pretty, there are more important things surface space can be used for. Then I realized that I had a couple of shadow box frames that I had bought at Michael's a few years before when I was experimenting with beaded flowers in shadowboxes. That experiment didn't work too well because of the glass piece. But looking at the orchid, I realized that if I mounted it in and left the glass out, this turns more into a sculptural piece of artwork than I had originally intended. The whole shadowbox idea definitely worked because I know she has wall space. I also verified this by sneakily checking out the whole place while I was over watching Grey's Anatomy on Thursday nights, so I knew this would fit.

So, how did I mount the thing in? First I cut a stake that would fit diagonally across the back. Orchids are held up by stakes and this one, even if it's fake and framed, isn't going to be any different. Then, I made 3 pairs of holes on each side of the stake in the backing using a hammer and a small nail. Then, I used 30 gauge green floral paddle wire to wire the stem and leaves together, and into the back. Yes it stays. I didn't put another backing on to the frame to hide the twisted wires in case she ever wanted to take the flowers out of the frame to dust or wash.


beadexplorer said...

I would love to see these orchids in person. If you already can see the glittering of the beads on a picture, how must they sparkle in reality then?
Great piece of art!

Svetlana said...

I hope to one day see that magnificent creation of yours. You are unbelievably talented!

knitfriendly said...

I am so honored to be the recipient of such a masterpeice. You are going to have to help me choose the perfect spot for it during my "reorganization". You've been sneeky so it looks like you may have some ideas already! :) I want to get a spotlight for it from IKEA. :) Thank you SO much Judy.