A dear friend of mine was having a bridal brunch at a local eatery and I offered to make a couple of centerpieces for the tables. This space is in an old warehouse and the interior is designed in a sort of butcher shop motif with acrylic paintings of quartered farm animals and large hooks and ropes hanging from the ceiling. Strong materials and a central skylight dominate the space. The marble table tops reflect the natural light and really make the tables pop.
The bride loves the outdoors. Like myself, she studied landscape architecture. Inspired by nature and looking to contradict the cold lines of the marble tops, I wanted to create a forest floor on the table. My first goal was to obtain the driftwood pieces that the "floor" would be "growing" on.
In whatever spare time I have, typically on Saturdays or Sundays, I enjoy kayaking on the Colorado River. I decided the shores of the river would be an ideal place to find the driftwood. Now I just had to paddle my cargo back to my motorized vehicle, and then to my home, where I rinsed the pieces. You can see my sandal for a sense of scale.
I made sure to leave the wood pieces outside for a few days so that any resident critters had an opportunity to relocate before I brought them inside. These were going on dining tables, after all! The two longer pieces were the ones I ended up using. I love the shape of the shortest one, but its profile just wasn't low enough for a dining table. The following photos are of the finished product on location.
I always like to tie a few elements with "a story" into the work. The pebbles you see in the foreground were gathered on the banks of the Rhine River in Bonn, Germany, where the bride studied abroad for a semester.
I try to keep the arrangement of the elements as random as possible, making it seem as if nature has done all of the planning herself.
Elements of design can be found in the most unlikely of places. Turtle shells and wasp nests are perfect examples of natural mathematics.
I love working with succulents and other natural elements because they have a longer shelf life than a standard cut flower arrangement. Luckily, these can be enjoyed for a few weeks as opposed to a few days. Thank you to my lovely friend, Elizabeth Thacker, for taking these shots of the arrangements on location. You can find more of her work here.