Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Pampas Glass - an improvisation.


 When I heard about this assignment I smiled to myself - improvisation, it's what I do all of the time.  I have an idea, I don't have the bits needed to carry it out, so I improvise and change this for that, and that for this, until I have managed to come up with something.

So, I wanted to force myself to work a little differently.  

Based on this quote, especially the last bit.....

"Something that is improvised, in particular a piece of music, drama, etc. created spontaneously or without preparation."

I decided I would 'just do it', go for it, roll with the flow.  

I wanted to create a piece of Pampas Grass just out of stuff I had laying about.

First I started with a piece of found driftwood. I thought it was a nice shape to represent the Pampas stalk, once I had chopped the end off to make it straight.

Next I drilled holes in it.  First I started drilling holes the size of the glass rods I was planning to use, but very quickly realised that if I had holes that large (8-10mm) I wouldn't be able to fit many rods in and I wanted it to be quite full.  So I swapped to a 3mm drill pieces and drilled about 80 holes with that.... at a downward slant.

Have you ever drilled found driftwood?  It really is quite nasty.  The smell of dead fish, salt and rotting seaweed is not the nicest aroma in the world!

Once the holes were drilled I needed to sort out some glass.

I found a pile of glass rods in a nice creamy ivory colour which I thought would work well.

And the next step was to go and melt them on the torch.  I had two things to do, one was to round of the end so it looked a bit more natural  (and also wouldn't be sharp to work with) and the other was to melt the other end and pull it into a point so it would fit into my smaller drill holes.

So, off to the torch I went, melted my ends and then melted the centre so I could pull the two ends apart to make a thin section.  I then snipped this section to create two pieces which would stick into my wood.

Then all I had left to do was to assemble it.

I found a couple of old plant pots, stuck my driftwood in them and packed them out with little pebbles from my garden so the wood wouldn't move.

Then I started to stick in my glass rods.

But it some became apparent that I had totally underestimated how much glass I would need, I had way more holes than glass - and none of that particular glass left, so I had to improvise and use a different colour to make some more.

I wasn't too happy about this at first, until I had put a couple of the new colour in place, which was like a transparent straw colour, and realised it worked rather well.

And that is my improvised, finished piece of Pampas Grass..... although it looks more like a cactus.

If I had of had more glass I might have worked further down the stem with it, sadly I have nothing left in that kind of shade.  I think it works quite well in a way though.

I am calling it my Pampas Glass!

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