Wild ORCHIDS OF THE NORTHWEST
Inspired by the beautiful Orchids of the Northwest, I have ventured into the discovery of rare orchids with magical names like: Fairy Orchid, Phantom Orchid, Ghost Plant and Chatterbox.
Delicate and challenging, the flower petals have to be crafted with thoughtfulness and patience. Rolling the edges thin for a bit of transparency, and yet solid in the middle to withstand the many sandings and handling during painting.
As I finish the first 40 orchid blooms (many extras due to their delicacy) in their greenware and bisque stages, I run the mini kilns to keep up.
After researching the insects and mycelium that work together with each plant, I make minute hover flies and fungus representatives to add in each piece. There are over 50 detail pieces-mushrooms, pollinators, snails, mosses, and stones that lay in wait in tidy rows. These will be used to accentuate the main orchid pieces.
As the detail pieces fire in the kiln, I lay my worktable out and mix the paints I will need. it has been kiln load after kiln load to fire all the additional detail pieces so I am looking forward to the trancelike work of painting.
Next month I will begin designing the intricate copper structures. Using a braising torch, repose tools and paints to form realistic foliage. The sketches line the walls of the studio waiting to be fulfilled into form.