Thursday, August 29, 2013

Succulent + Driftwood Sculpture

Learning is right up my alley. Seriously, give me something new to naw on and I am a pig in you know what. That's why when I found out about Sprout Home Chicago classes, I was real happy. I've taken many of the classes now (although I missed urban bee keeping because I decided I didn't want to keep bees on a patio in a high-rise) and so I was inspired to make this baby.

This started when I happened upon some driftwood. Not just any driftwood, but a real beauty, from a pet supply store that was going out of business. I instantly had a vision for a sculpture-esqe piece and knew exactly where it would fit in my place. I purchased succulents from Sprout and already had a supply of dirt for succulents and of moss from other projects. I've bought moss online at Moss Acres although for a small project like this you can likely buy it from a local shop near you. 

I called around to welding shops in chicago and found Armitage Welding. What a joy they were. I made a drawing of my vision for the metal base and they went to work on building it. I wasn't sure that it was going to work and get this, they even called me a few days after I picked it up to check to see if it worked -- how nice is that!!!??? I could have painted the base but decided it is beautiful as-is.

I very carefully drilled holes in the back of the driftwood and then screwed the steel plate to the wood. I was a little worried that my design wouldn't hold up the weight of the wood, but it worked!

Next I planted the succulents very carefully in the biggest opening in the driftwood and then surrounded the plantings with moss to try to hold everything in place. Moss is amazing if you ask me.

That's it. I water it about once every week and because of the vertical nature of it, I concocted up a system where I put a bag at the end of the driftwood to catch access water so that it doesn't pool up on the floor. So far so good. I also use a spray bottle and lightly spray everything a couple times a week (especially the moss as it likes the spray bath A LOT!)

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