Branch Line

Winter Branches

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?

 branches and supplies

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.

End framing

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.

 Adding the apple branches

 

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.

Adding further height

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.

 Space for Kenzan

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.

 Appke Branch Structure from front

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!

Tulips and  apple branches

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.

Silver branches and lilies

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!

Cheers!

 

About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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