This year, for the spring exhibit, I wanted to use just one material, to really showcase the beauty of it. I chose scouring rush. They are often found near the waters edge of a lake, stream, or river, but can also be found in moist, dense forests. They can grow to be quite tall, and when a cool summer breeze hits them, they bend playfully in the wind.
I went to the local hardware store/DIY center to look for something I could use as a base for the piece. I chose a plastic fencing material in a black color. I thought the black would go well with the green of the scouring rush, but it could also be painted if I wanted to change the color or finish (I was thinking a metal finish would also be interesting). The mesh of the fence was also the perfect size for each frond of the rush to fit into. I used some black zip ties to hold the fencing together and made a tall column. I had my base for the piece.
I played with the fronds for several hours, trying different ways of arranging them in the mesh. Some were very planned out, and others were more organic. "Playing" with the materials is an important step in creating a zokei work; it enables you to find the best way to show off the natural beauty of the material in a new and interesting manner. I finally chose on a combination of planned and organic. I arranged the fronds along one line of the fencing, extending out to the right, but the angles and length of the scouring rush were arranged in an organic way, making them look as if they were being blown in the wind.
|slightly from the left|
|looking into the fronds, from the right|
Can you feel the cool summer breeze?
Let me know what you think of the piece in the comment section below!