Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wild Ones Meeting

This months local Wild Ones meeting on seasonal decorating with native plants promised the opportunity to create dried arrangements bringing the beauty of the prairie to our homes.  Margaret Mary Gerhard, a former art teacher in the Howard-Suamico school district, has shared her passion for aesthetic recycling with thousands of students, colleagues, friends, and nonprofits. She challenges us to reconsider what we "throw away" as there really is no away.  She encourages reusing, reducing and recycling, turning ordinary junk, we might typically discard, into creative works of art for a greener world.  

Margaret Mary Gerhard
The recycling dream lady
Some of the "goods from the woods" she brought along to display that inspired me to gather dried materials for later craft projects before the snow starts to fly:

Red osier dogwood heart wreath
Grapevine balls
Painted stick snake
Milkweed pod angel ornament
Angel of milkweed pod and other
natural materials 
Milkweed pod mouse
Milkweed pod wreath
Firestarters from pine cones in egg cartons
Paint spattered over leaves with toothbrush
Sock-covered vases

We were shown a number of floral arrangements using native plants to inspire us to create our own out of a large supply of native flowers, grasses, branches, and pods.   A few of my early attempts:

Anise hyssop, lavender, and Russian sage
Goldenrod, dried ferns, seedheads, and
Harry Lauder's walking stick branches
in a birchbark vase

Echinacea, baptisia, and big bluestem
Brooklyn florist Emily Thompson (whose clients include the White House) who went foraging for native plants to make 49 centerpieces for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's 2013 spring gala offers the following tips for creating native floral arrangements:

* When you cut a native, put it immediately into water and keep it well hydrated.
* Choose natives for the shape and texture of their leaves.
* Use color sparingly.
* Create a support structure for your arrangement in the bottom of your vase or pot.
* Group natives that grow together in the wild; the result will look more natural.
* Start by creating a visual structure for the arrangement. Choose a primary plant material—one of the strongest plants you gathered, with a strong shape.
* Work with three materials only in each arrangement so you have "strong visual swaths."At the end, you can add a tiny visual punctuation of a fourth, colorful plant.
* Finding contrast is a goal.  Pair a plant with a bigger leaf with something more delicate.
* Embrace the austerity of a single-color arrangement.
* Don't be afraid to work with plants with roots.

1 comment:

  1. This one is woven using hand made string and features windows ,knotless netting and lacing. It took 9 sessions with around 3-5 people plus many other members contributed by making miles and miles of string.Trees-Plants Nursery