Wall Flowers

I mentioned yesterday that I was making a three-dimensional decoration for our walls.

I had several inspirations. First, I noticed that many of the stunning apartments we stayed in while traveling featured interesting wall art beyond the usual flat paintings or prints (most notably: a vintage anatomical model encased in a plexiglas case and mounted to the wall). Second, Mo blogged recently about making crêpe-paper flowers, and I was amazed at the gorgeous blooms she fashioned. Third, I liked this Ikea pendant lamp, but with our 11′ ceilings, it’s just too much trouble to change the hanging fixtures.

The other day it occurred to me that if I paint on stiff watercolor paper, surely it could be used for building things too. Once I got started, it took only minimal experimentation to develop and construct a design. I eventually added a few pieces of thin wire for support, but essentially, this is just cut and painted paper taped together.

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The simple, temporary construction might mean this isn’t so stable in the long run — we’ll see — but one very big benefit is that I can modify it at will. It’s very easy to take down, and I can reposition, remove, or add flowers as needed. And it’ll come apart and flat-pack for moving or storage.

But for now, I absolutely love the way it looks, from every angle.

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Actually, the packing paper I used as a painting “drop cloth” came out looking pretty cool too.

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I don’t know why it never occurred to me before to build something out of painted paper. I have something of a history with paper constructions. When I was little, I used to have this fantastic Richard Scarry activity book with pre-printed figures, houses, and cars you could cut out and tape together to make a village. I remember spending hours doing this at Gong-Gong‘s kitchen table.

Later, in eighth grade, we had an assignment to build a model of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. (Not really a good assignment, but this teacher was big on these kinds of projects. Another assignment was a model of a colonial American fireplace. I had fun with both of these, but I’m sure my fellow students didn’t.) Most kids made theirs out of shoeboxes and red construction paper — a simple solution that frankly never occurred to me — but I studied photos and built a roughly proportional structure out of heavy paper, with copious use of scissors, colored pencil, and pen. I wouldn’t be crazy enough to do it again, but I remember I enjoyed it. Again this was at Gong-Gong’s house, sitting in an upstairs bedroom and listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on repeat on my headphones. (I’ve mentioned this before.) The model looks a little wonky now from improper storage, but you get the idea.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now that I have my latest piece on my wall — I’ve dubbed it The Wall Flowers, which makes me giggle — I feel as if the other walls are too boringly flat! But I don’t, at the moment, have any ideas for other 3D decorations, so flat they shall stay… for now.

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