terracotta clay succulents
June 11, 2012 § 2 Comments
As soon as I posted the wedding invites and saw the overall concept through a computer screen (not on my desk as it had been evolving for weeks), I automatically felt the urge to perpetuate the evolution. The box shouldn’t be square, it should be an octagon. The concave corners should have a larger radius, to be accommodated by the octagon box. The green border shouldn’t be an invisible tint of honeydew, it should be a vibrant pistachio (a shade of green that would be noticeable through a camera lens!). The rounded variety of terracotta succulents should be used, not pointy (I made both types). It doesn’t end. It drives me mad.
The urge was more rampant over the weekend, with the further progression of our wedding crafting. I thought of another hundred different ways to make our invitations. But better. More unique. Last night, I asked O.T. for the umpteenth time “Do you like how our invitations turned out?”. His reply: “Well, it’s classic.” What I hear is: boring, predictable, ordinary, aren’t you capable of more creativity? For someone who used to own a company called out-of-the-box ideas and make invitations as contemporary as this fairytale castle, our own invitation design is perhaps not anything anyone expected of me, not even myself. Suddenly, as though out-of-body, I want to shake myself for not going out-of-the-box.
I’d like to believe when I went to the drawing board after booking the wedding a month ago, that I had a purpose (and very little time). The terracotta succulents were intended for the invitations, yes. But they were ultimately designed for the bouquet, which I have since made and love far more than the invites.
I used self-hardening terracotta clay. Not just “air dry” — that stuff crumbles (I tried and failed miserably). Heart shape cookie cutters. Rolling pin. Garbage bag. Paper floral stems.
To start, I rolled the clay between a folded sheet of garbage bag to a thickness of 1/8″. I allowed the garbage bag to wrinkle, which left a leather-like texture on the surface of the clay. Then I cut a number of heart shapes using two sizes of cookie cutter. I further split the hearts into two halves.
For the invites, the terracotta succulents are pointy and flat-bottomed. I placed halves of the larger hearts to form a 6-pointed star shape and placed a second layer, with halves alternating to cover gaps. I continued by placing halves of the smaller hearts in the same manner until it reached a full bloom. I guess “bloom” is not exactly the word. Succulents have leaves, not petals. I pinched each leaf to create a point. Then I set it all aside to harden.
For stemmed terracotta succulents, I started from the inside out by pinching three small halves around the tip of a paper floral stem. I pinched additional layers, with halves alternating to cover gaps. I used three layers of small halves and proceeded with another three layers of large halves. I made two varieties using the same heart halves — pointy side up and rounded side up.
For the bouquet, I have a combination of terracotta and artificial succulents. Realistically, there won’t be any time to prowl around Vegas nurseries for fresh succulents the day before the wedding, so we purchased artificial succulents and cacti at qualitysilkplants.com with a $100 splurge. Real succulents and cacti would’ve cost us far less. However, given the time-frame, this was most efficient. My bouquet is made well ahead of time and I can’t wait to show you. Let’s hope the terracotta survives the trip in my carry-on!
Good luck! This is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, especially as they will want to make it as wonderful and unique to themselves as possible. I am so intrigued by this project of yours and would love to follow up! Best wishes on your wedding, btw. Just remember, at the end of the wedding day, as long as you’re married, your day was a success! 😉
Thank you for sharing your method. You’ve instructions are easy and inspiring, nice job!