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Suspension – 150 Years

Another of the Fireworks Class titles – this one with the variation of celebrating 150 years of the Royal Horticultural Society of NSW (hosts for the competition). Having had this title a few times in the one year, I needed to ensure a completely different design or risk the judges (who had seen my other designs) disqualifying the design because they consider it a copy of one they have seen elsewhere.

This is an issue you need to be aware of, as you do not know how often you might get the same judge in different competitions and your work will not be judged if it is deemed to be a copy of something the judge has seen previously. I fell into this trap once, using the same style and large design pieces in a design in two different competitions. After the judging, I heard the judge say she had seen this design at another competition so I volunteered the information that I had done both designs. She felt that I had not changed the second design enough for her to consider it anything other than a copy of the first one and therefore it was disqualified. Lesson learned!

Here is the 150 Year Fireworks piece:

Suspension - 150 Years

The backing for the whole design is plastic mesh (commonly sold as a garden mesh or gutter mesh for eaves). To this I can attach any number of items with wire for security so it is a great design medium to use. It works particularly well for a suspension when the backing of the display area is black as the mesh becomes almost invisible, heightening the “suspended” effect.

This Class was also “creative” so I could use a wide range of horticultural material both natural and manipulated. Each of the numerals is made with different floral material and techniques.

Number 1 is three pieces of curled bark wired to the mesh backing. Inside the bark I have placed small flowering succulents with some of the bracts having gold headed pins pushed through them.

Number 5 is made from twigs bundled together with gold decorative wire (which also attaches it to the mesh). Some of the twigs have star shaped beads glued to the ends. The technique for making this numeral can be found in the Technique Tutorials section of this website.

Number 0 is a gold decorative wire shape with slices of banksia flower glued to it. Again there is a Technique Tutorial for this.

The top of the design is a burst of fireworks colours made from white cactus dahlias and autumn leaves of the Acer tree. Both these carry the star shape of bursting fireworks through the design.

This design placed Third in what is always considered a very tough competition – the first time I have ever gained a placing here. The design could have been improved by brighter colours……it looks a bit like the fireworks are almost over!



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