More Marvelous Memphis

Dixon Museum lobbyMore Memphis/Milano to share!  In the lobby of the Dixon, guests were greeted by this delightful arrangement of curly willow, anthuriums, calla lilies and their leaves.

Max Sideboard, 1987Class 5, the Max Sideboard by Ettore Sottass, was the inspiration for a class open to new members (3 years or less) of the Memphis Garden Club and Little Garden Club of Memphis.  It proved to be an affirmation of the design talent emerging in these clubs.  Lucky clubs!!

 New Member designNew Member designNew Member designNew member DesignMaybe it was Memphis” was the title of the class, above showing four of the five entries in the class which had a gallery room all their own.  These are quite sophisticated structural designs achieved by beginning designers!!  All these four designers upped the ante by portraying using more vibrant colors.

Memphis/Milano Best in ShowA different tack was taken by the fifth exhibitor with great results – i.e., first in the class, Best In Show in Floral Design, and the Sandra Baylor Novice Floral Design Award.  This design is a good example of inspiration not emulation.  By placing the shelves and cubbies on the diagonal, an interesting tension is created.

Altair Glass


Sirio VaseDench GobletFive of the six entries in “Memphis in Your Mind” interpreted a piece of glass created in 1982 by Ettore Sotass, the founder of Memphis/Milano.  The top design is interpreting “Altair Vase” with its tall form and undulating glass goblet handles.  Next “Sirio Vase” is lyrically reflected in the curves of curly willow painted bright red.  “Dench Glass” is visible to the left of the lower design.  Notice how this uses lyrically curving blue plexiglass and clear plastic tubing to mimic the curves of the glass.  Pink and yellow orchids pick up the colors of the braces on the base.

Calla LilyIn a gallery much smaller than the Plough Gallery of the last post, there were three classes with a total of 16 entries.  It was almost hard to tell which was in which class.  “All Shook Up” included this piece called “First Chair” by Michele De Lucchi that peeks out from the right corner of the photo.  A pristine glass bowl creates the form, around which is a blue tube dispensing large white callas and their dramatic leaf.

Anthuriums and flaxWinner of “All Shook Up” is this dramatic design using striking New Zealand flax, brilliant red anthuriums with yellow craspedia and proteas played off against caning and corrugated cardboard.

 Symonds MedalDon’t Be Cruel” exhibited more lamps from Memphis/Milano “Cahuenga Floor Lamp”, 1985, by Peter Shire was imaginatively interpreted with tubular and conical forms reminiscent of the piece and with the added drama of starburst pin cushion proteas.  This piece won the GCA’s Margaret Clover Symonds Medal for “an innovative modern design creatively combining man-made material(s) with fresh and/or dried plant material”.

Flamingo Bedside TableThe five tables of Class Seven, “Blue Suede Shoes”, could not have been more different.  Made mostly from plastic laminate and lacquered wood, they inspired some unique designs like this one in turquoise, yellow, black and white.  The fascinating shaped leaves are aspidistra with a surface coating of self-stick vinyl which made them appear painted like the table.  A hidden wire allows the designers to create rhythmic shapes with them.

Colon tableThe unique colors of “Colon Table”, 1982, by Javier Mariscal are beautifully reflected in this design using anthurium, gerbera and mitsumata.   The yellow gerberas just peek through the anthurium giving great depth to the design.




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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