Paper plate garden
So I was going to try to challenge myself to get out there and try to get something in a gallery. I've never done that before but there is a community gallery around here with a Spring show themed "Art of the Garden". I decided to whip up a little terrain that I could submit for consideration. I figured there wouldn't probably be much mini sculpture/diorama art submitted and so it might be worth trying just for variety's sake.

I'm really busy with full time school/work/adulting though so I didn't give myself a ton of time to do this piece. It was like a compromise: I'd cut some time out of my schedule to make it with the caveat that I'd give myself a time limit to commit to it. So there -are- some corner cutting decisions here that I have to live with.

Anyway, here we go:

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I'm okay with the base I did. I kind of like that it has that sort of color ring around it of dark green. I'm not really sure what it is or what it represents, but I just tried layering the basing materials a few ways and liked it as a non-conventional non-literal textural decision. Also... I do wha' I want.

It's actually a sort of weird base though. The main material is a paper plate because I couldn't find any foam and I couldn't really budget buying more right now (#collegestudentstruggles) In order to build up a mound so it wasn't flat I actually used polyfill, like you'd put in a pillow, and then ModPodged a paper towel over the top of it to make a paper plate and napkin pillow sandwich. It was surprisingly less difficult to work with than you might imagine.

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This one an example of one of the time-cutting things I did. Some of the flowers are clay flowers (obviously those take more time) and some are simple flocking flowers like the lupine and the 'what are those? I dunno, colors-on-the-end-of-fake-grass flowers, I guess?' A couple I did are actually just little coils of wire that I got heavy dips of glue on and then rolled in flocking. They're a little lazy, I know, but they provide a decent pop of color that supplement the more detailed flowers. I dusted them on the tops with some old eye shadow that I stopped using because I found out there are parabens in it. Side note: It's super pigmented, super cheap, and makes awesome art pigment if anyone's interested. (

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There's 3 kinds of base flocking and some dirt. I did mostly bright green to keep it cheerful and stylized/idealized, but have some patches and clumpier flock to have denser areas and provide variety. There's also some light acrylic and light pigment shading. I made some large paper grass by trimming and rolling some of the negative shapes left from my fern leaf paper punch and made some grass tufts using a kludged form where I punched holes in a paper plate, dotted glue inside, and then inserted a bundle of WS grass.

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The bench is your typical carved purple foam. I tried to give it a kind of stylized worn look. I'd originally carved it last year, picturing it as a 2 seater, but once I added in the hat and the book it messed up the scale to now where it looks like a single seat. I'm not really happy about that but I also don't think it necessarily ruins it because someone won't necessarily know that's what happened with it. And I wanted there to be stuff in the scene that made it look like a snapshot of time or that someone was/could be there taking a break more than I cared if the bench looked like it was a 2 person bench. I think without the accessories, it wouldn't have the same feel.

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The hat was something I made earlier (maybe someone remembers it as being from my Sophie Hatter's studio competition entry.) It's braided raffia that I coiled and sewed into a hat shape. The flowers are mulberry paper that I painted and keep on hand for my wire art jewelry. I dusted the hat with a variety of eyeshadow pigments to make it look less flat (although it's not on yet in this picture.) You can also see the original paper plate in the background that I built this thing on.

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The book is pieced together with some textured polymer clay, a couple pigments, and model paint. The false hinges are the top half of bindis with the bullion beads scraped off and painted in model paint. I pre-baked the spine portion and only glued it to the back of the book so you can gingerly open up the book and look at the pages. It's not as robust and strong as a hand-sewn mini book with a proper spine but the problem I have with those when I've made them in the past is that, in this scale, the folding pages and even the bulk of the thread means the books want to be partially sprung open and they look less real. So even if it's not traditional technique here with an unsewn book block, it lays better so I prefer it if I'm making something in this scale.

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And there we go! Painted a little gold around the book edges as well. The tree in the background is part of another project I was working on at the same time.

I feel like I should wrap this post up with a final shot of it finished, but I already did that up top sooooo... There we go. Thanks for looking!
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