Bare branches are everywhere in New England. They inspired a kind of structural ‘container’ made from trimmings from two very old apple trees. These trees have huge open trunks and are barely hanging on. Their small apples, rather green and gnarly, are incredibly sweet, maybe some kind of old Pippin variety?
The branches collected had wonderful green-gray lichen patches and were as knobbly as their fruit. The base was a left over basswood board about 4″ wide x 18″ long from Michael’s Crafts. It was sprayed with a nice pewter color from Design Master Modern Metals spray paint.
The branches needed a structure to allow the whole construction to rise up. I used 18 gauge wire, wrapped in brown floral tape to fashion a U-shaped form for each end of the board. With a prepunched hole from an awl, I was able to insert the wire into the board.
Slowly branches were ‘auditioned’ for their role in the structure and where they crossed or connected were hot glued in place. The branches were placed for a kind of flow from right to left.
At this point there was no back or front to the structure and the branches were put on so they created as much depth within the narrow space as possible.
One space was kept open on the base into which to insert a kenzan. These two from Japan are iron and very heavy. They do hold water but not very much so depending on your flowers, they might need water every day.
The completed apple structure with the kenzan opening right rear. Most of the branches taper towards the left. A small amount of gathered lichen was added strategically for texture as well as to hide any really big glue globs!
The apple structure holds a passel of bright cheery tulips among the dark branches. The kenzan, wrapped in lichen covered paper, is barely visible on the right.
Another day, another look….more drama! The entire structure was sprayed with the same Design Master pewter paint as the orignal base. The lichen color disappears and it became another texture. The lilies are called Nymph, courtesy of the supermarket!