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Vase with Flowers (continued from Part One)

Final piece hanging in it’s spot of honor, the breakfast room of the auction winners.

The School Auction Project is finally complete! If you haven’t read about the beginning of this ginormous project, check it out. By no means would I say this is an easy project. Every flower and center circle needed two to three coats of paint. This was done in the hallway at school, with my 18 month old son crawling around and two to three students at a time, armed with wet paint brushes. I had help in my home by parent volunteers with wiring the centers on to the flowers, but this part of the project seemed to occupy any moment of idle time while parked in the car line to pick up kids, every waiting room and during any time I watched television for nearly a month. When it came time to attach the flowers to the board, I set up my easel and just started drilling, adding flowers one by one.
I wanted a reference picture to find which flower was designed by each student. I sketched up a quick drawing of the flowers with colored pencils, labeled each flower with a name on the paper (the flowers are all labeled on the backs), took a picture of the final placement and used adobe photoshop to label the final picture.

The flower stems consist of craft/jewelry wire threaded with green glass beads (by the children). I handed each kindergartner a wire with a bolt twisted to the bottom. They were “encouraged” to put a big bead for every length of their thumb of small beads. I drilled eight holes under the vase.

The students threaded the wire with beads, I put the bolt through the hole and twisted the beaded wire around a pencil and stretched it to meet it’s intended flower (some being at least a foot above the bottom bolt). This gave the stems an added dimension. A couple bolts have two stems.
The vase is built up on the back to give it the appearance of being half inch thick from the front, but with space at the top for the wire wrapped bolts. To add some additional interest to the vase, I cut strips of card stock and deco-pauged red pieces from magazine pictures. One stripe is at the top of the vase and two stripes are at the bottom. The vase was attached by drilling a two part hole, so the bolts would be sunk into the vase and could be patched with additional deco-pauged green squares. With the vase attached, I brushed on a couple coats of a gloss medium for added shine and stability of the paper.
The back of the art piece has a mitered frame set a foot in from the edges, so the piece hangs three dimensionally from the wall. My husband helped out with his air gun, nailing the wood to the back.
I screwed nuts onto the backs of the bolts and using a drumel tool, the long ends were cut so the frame in the back could hang flush with the wall.
The final piece has 31 flowers (a new student arrived on one of the final days of production) and eleven beaded stems (threaded by kindergartners).
The project was auctioned off live and sold for $1700!
Update on Home Project Vase
Our home project isn’t quite as grand of course, with only 13 flowers and a total size of 2 feet by 4 feet. If I could do it over I would have the vase smaller as it seems to overwhelm the final piece. Our home piece has been tweaked a couple times since the first position of the flowers seemed to remind me of balloons with long stems. So with two holes at the top to fill, I decided to add two wire butterflies. Although it hangs in my kitchen, it is still incomplete due to me being completely burned out on this project. Hopefully I’ll get back to it in the next month and I will post more pictures.
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