Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Art Deco Miniature Arrangement Class- Philadelphia Flower Show 2014

This year I made an entry to the Philadelphia Flower Show that is not jewelry! Instead, as I wrestled with my disappointment at being ‘too late’ for the already filled jewelry class, my good friend who is also a competitor, suggested that I enter the Mini-Arrangement Niche class titled ‘Art Deco’. The parameters are to use dried plant material, same as the Artistic Jewelry classes, however it is permissible to also use other non-plant materials. The entry must not exceed five inches in any direction. And, the box is to be lined in mat board color of choice. 
Philadelphia Flower Show- Mini Niche Art Deco, 2014. M Favre©
The only directive to the artist is the title, Art Deco. Though interpretation of the title is important, so are other considerations such as craftsmanship, design, scale and imaginative use of the material. The niche is a lighted box that is staged at eye level to the viewer. As a newbie, I struggled with what sort of object to make as well as how to install it. Flower Show entries always take a lot of time to make—time away from real jewelry making which is my business. I approach each entry as a creative exercise that will re-boot and refresh my design process. It’s great to get a blue ribbon (recognition clipped above your entry for the duration and an invitation to the PHS Luncheon) or even a second or third. This was not a blue ribbon year! Our class of four entries was Commended-- that means all entries had with high high point values and were worthy of ribbons.  

           Art Deco is a period of design from about 1920-1930 that was influenced by modern architecture, King Tut's Tomb and the modern machine age. I began by looking at a lot of images to glean the essence of particular elements that convey the style. My friend gave me a mini-box, built to exact dimensions of the show to use. It’s helpful when you are trying to fill a defined space to see how your object relates to the space. 
Tools of the Artistic Class- work table.MFavre©

      The challenging part for me was manipulating elements into space. I begin by laying out ideas and taking pictures with my phone. This results in two-dimensional designs that still need to have some depth. Until you start attaching and gluing it’s hard to see what is and is not working. And, being able to block out of your head what colors to use, really seeing the forms is more important. 

      Often while I was making my piece I was thinking of the extraordinary small windows of Tiffany in New York City by the lengendery Gene Moore and the effort he made to place the jewelry amongst other elements--all in perfect scale. I know now that I should have been more conscious of the surrounding negative space.

Design progression. Art Deco Mini-Arrangement. Philadelphia Flower Show 2014. M Favre©

This entry took too long this time! I felt a little blocked and just was not seeing a design I liked. It happens. Looking at the designs--I could have done #1 and it would have been OK. I got some things right with the final design but it's good to critique the project.
In retrospect I wasted time on some things:
1. Over thinking. This project reinforces the importance of knowing when and what to edit. 
2. I got stuck on a design for too long--a design I abandoned at the last minute.
3. I got too caught up on determining my Art Deco color palette which includes the color of mat board—I kept switching out between four different mat board colors. I used teal.(I took pictures of my palettes which do make nice wallpaper for my phone!) 

            For some reason I limited my design to maxing out the 5” space and did not see that it was out of scale. It was too big for the space. (Pointed out by the judges!)
Art Deco color palettes. Black mat, teal mat, mango mat, yellow mat. M Favre©

This is my Art Deco entry made from dried plant material. Made with hickory, acorn, leaves, deciduous azalea pod, verbena stem, holly berry, gourd. Gold, Magenta, Silver, Blue.

Art Deco- Miniature Arrangement, Philadelphia Flower Show 2014. MFavre©
Commended Class. Honorable Mention.
The following are the three other entries.
Art Deco Blue Ribbon, by Hollis Bauer.

Art Deco Second Place.

Art Deco Third place.