Cardboard and Found Materials Flower Display
Like other installations and displays we’ve created in the Art Studio, this project was conceived when I found something in the recycling bin. This time my plunder included a stack of corrugated cardboard rounds. Once used between stacked bowls or plates as a protective layer, these screamed “flowers” from the moment I spotted them.
To make this vision become a reality, I enlisted the help of our amazing student assistant, Katie Welles. After sharing with her my idea to incorporate a variety of different “found” texures in a small garden of flowers, we gathered the cardboard inserts and some flower inspiration sources, including cut flowers and Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi, Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. Collecting more materials from our studio’s stock of found materials, Katie contructed the flowers by working a couple of hours a week for about a month.
For the stems we gathered fallen sticks and twigs, coated them with tempera paint in different green hues, and attached them to the flower heads with wire and hot glue.
Paper plates covered with shredded paper turned out to be a great way to add texture and dimension to the center of one of the large blue flowers. Katie painted the back/smooth side of bubble wrap with acrylic paint to make the center of the red/orange flower and painted newspaper became some of the leaves.
Katie also crafted the lily of the valley-like flowers out of foam egg cartons and wire and daffodil-like flowers out of large coffee filters and cardboard egg cartons.
When we had all the flowers nearly complete we pushed them into a thick rectangle of rigid insulation foam we had left over from another project. They also could have worked in tall, heavy vases.
Katie finished the flowers just in time for her graduation from Smith College. Looking up at them above the cabinets makes me appreciate collaboration and how much creativity our awesome Art Studio staff bring to our work in the Art Studio.
We hope you’re inspired to use found materials wonder, problem-solve, and inspire others around you! Look for more ideas for using found materials in sculpture category of the blog.