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ABOUT THE GARDEN ASSEMBLAGES

I have made several types of assemblages for gardens. Some of the assemblages are quite simple and involve very little modification of the objects that I have accumulated. For example, some pieces of old farm equipment, to my mind, are pretty much sculptures when I find them. Sometimes it is a matter of finding what I consider the “right” orientation for displaying the piece.  At other times I find pieces of old farm equipment that needs only the addition of a few more pieces to make an assemblage that is pleasing to me. Most of the time when the assemblage involves minimal modification I do not add color but simply clean the piece and coat it with polyurethane.  The polyurethane wears off over several months and either it can be recoated or allowed to develop its own character.

There is another type of garden assemblage that does involve more modification of the found pieces. Many of these are multi-stemmed flower assemblages. While I have used old pipes for the stems of these assemblages, I more recently have been using conduit for electric wires as the stems. For the “flower” heads I have used wheels, pieces from fans, and metal plates of various types. When the metal plates have what I consider to be a nice patina, I typically leave it as is.  If the metal plate is unpleasing to the eye, I typically cover it with spray paint.  Often a piece of glass or a fancy piece of metal is added to make the flower more interesting.  The final artistic task  is combining the different flowers into a pleasing bouquet.

One of the challenges with making assemblages for gardens is to make them so that they withstand elements of the weather.  Wind is a particular concern. There have been many times when I thought I had provided a heavy enough base to withstand wind only to find the assemblage toppled. While I have gotten better at finding bases that withstand the average fluctuations of wind, the assemblages are not guaranteed to stand against all levels of wind.

For the bases of the garden assemblages I have used, old tires of various sizes, brake plates and brake plates attached to sheets of pressure treated plywood, stands and posts embedded in concrete and an assortment of heavy metal pieces that have holes to accommodate bolts to support the flower stems.  One consequence of these bases is that many of them are unattractive and may be visually distracting to the larger piece. Thus, I recommend that the base be hidden by tall grass/weeds or by covering with mulch or other substance.

Other weather challenges are rain, ice and temperature. I have experimented with various adhesives and attachment systems but there is always more to learn.

Another consideration with the garden assemblages is that many are very large and difficult to move. Over the years I have become better at making assemblages that come apart for moving.  Now most of the flower heads I make are screwed into the top of the stems and the stems slip over bolts fastened to the base. Not only does this make moving the assemblage easier, it makes the repair or replacement of individual heads more possible.  However, the disassembling and reassembling of many of the pieces is too cumbersome for the ordinary consumer and this aspect limits the marketing of the garden assemblages. I deliver!

  amber   chocolate   clothworks   cornflower
Marriage

  Amber Bubble   Chocolate Swirl

  Clothworks

  Cornflower

 
crabby   spanish sun   squid    
Crabby

  Spanish Sun   Squid

  Buddha Lamp

  Crank It Up

 
           
Floral Spray1   Floral Spray2
Ruby Was Her Name