10 Mar

A Walk in the Blue Garden and Pondering Daphne

A view of the pavilion from the garden

A view of the pavilion from the garden

 

This was a special day. Daphne was finished and now it was time to take one last walk through the garden before packing up the studio.  I walked straight ahead  towards the giant aloe like plants searching for the Blue Garden.

The large blueish plants border the garden

The large blueish plants border the garden

It was about 7am my favorite time of day when I went for the walk.  The light was lovely and filtered through the trees.

hanging succulents

hanging succulents

I was beginning to see that dusty blue in all different permutations.

fir tree

fir tree

The ground too is covered with blueish plantings which look wonderful with the blue slag glass that Ganna Walska edged the garden with.

blue plantings

blue plantings

This is the excess glass that is used to edge many of the gardens

This is the excess glass that is used to edge many of the gardens

aloe carpet

aloe carpet

I walked through the Blue Garden and then up and around and found the reflecting pool. I was trying to focus and really take this garden into my  head.  This would be one of the last times I would walk here.  I might visit in the future but it would never be quite like this.  I felt so appreciative of the residency to experience the garden in this more intimate way.  I lived in Ganna Walska quarters. sleeping in her rooms and reading her autobiography each night.  I was getting to know her through the garden while I was creating a wax garden on the walls. One that for me symbolized a threshold – a state of perpetual transformation.

This is the reflecting pool. I am told that this is where the large lotus flowers bloom in July.

This is the reflecting pool. I am told that this is where the large lotus flowers bloom in July.

I found another path and followed it under an umbrella of trees and discovered another pool with huge clam shells scattered over the area around it.  Plus to my delight there were succulents growing over and in the wall.  It made me think of my beeswax succulent wall.

clam shells and the succulents on the wall

clam shells and the succulents on the wall

I loved the way they were growing over and in

I loved the way they were growing over and in

so lovely

so lovely

my succulents on the wall

my succulents on the wall

 

beehives in the orchard

beehives in the orchard

I walked a little further and came to the orchard where the Beehives are placed.

close up beehive

close up beehive

My thoughts as I wandered were about Daphne…the myth.  In brief her story is

 

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08 Mar

Almost There!

It became pretty hectic the last week of casting and installing Daphne so it was hard to get to the blog.  I am now at home but will finish up the story of my wonderful residency at Lotusland.

My strategy when I started to install was to first create an inventory of the different tiles and colours of the beeswax.  I had a beautiful brown wax and a bright yellow wax plus colours in between that once melted became the colour of caramel and butterscotch…  food analogies!  The different colours are a result of the plant life in the realm of the bee and also oxidization. Here are images of my stock piles.  The lotus pods I decided should have a monochromatic look while the colour of  the tiles, objects and succulents I wanted to vary to allow for randomness in my installation.

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

lotus pod mounds ready for installation

various sizes and colours

various sizes and colours

succulents on the table waiting to be placed on the wall

succulents on the table waiting to be placed on the wall

After I had an inventory I began to work steadily on the back wall which I had decided would be the site for the lotus pods.  I made a decision to frame the door with the pods encrusted the way Ganna Walska had used the abalone shells at the clam shell pool.

the building of the lotus pod wall

the building of the lotus pod wall

Of course while I was installing I was also madly casting tiles to keep the inventory high.

the encrusted abalone shells around the clamshell pool

the encrusted abalone shells around the clamshell pool

pattern and field tile moulds full of beeswax

pattern and field tile moulds full of beeswax

pattern tiles

pattern tiles

succulent moulds cooling

succulent moulds cooling

Raj carrying in the last shipment of beeswax.

Raj carrying in the last shipment of beeswax.

Raj and Robert were amazing and helped with many aspects of my installation.  From carrying in the wax (30lb blocks)and helping each morning to put the wax into the large pot.

Raj gently placing the beeswax block into the large pot

Raj gently placing the beeswax block into the large pot

lotus pods

lotus pods

pod wall almost complete

pod wall almost complete

The wall was almost finished and just needed more lotus pods.  I began the baroque tile wall next.

Raj drilling holes into the objects before we put them on the wall

Raj drilling holes into the objects before we put them on the wall

tile wall building quickly

tile wall building quickly

the pinapples and candelabras and doorknobs are being added

the pinapples and candelabras and doorknobs are being added

I was happy with the combination of the tiles and the objects

I was happy with the combination of the tiles and the objects

love this view

love this view

finally the succulent wall

finally the succulent wall

 

The succulent wall carpet was heavy and I used green masking tape to hold things in place until they had set.

The succulent wall carpet was heavy and I used green masking tape to hold things in place until they had set.

 

I also added pattern tiles which I loved the texture of

I also added pattern tiles which I loved the texture of

 

the colour variations are lovely

the colour variations are lovely

Daphne is complete. In tomorrows post I will unveil the whole thing with images of the opening too.

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