The Epergne, Part 2

It has been several days since I started Part 2. There was a fatality in my project. I’m going to finish writing about my progress so you can see where my idea was going.  But sadly, the art piece came to an end. The epergne had an accident. OK, I had the accident.  I cannot believe I was so clumsy. My design, I feel, was very good so I am looking for a replacement. In the meantime, I have taken my idea and transferred it to a different vase. This time I am using a heavy black jasper vase. The flowering vine part will remain the same but I think I may need to add something for height.









I’ve also been working on a second piece. One day while I was outside, I found this interesting small pine branch. Of course my imagination immediately took over and I could see a flowering tree. I am including that art piece  in this part. On a side note, I would not recommend pine in this type of arrangement. It is a soft wood and the branch/twig is very brittle. I’ve already glued one part back one.

So here is where I left off  before I was so careless.

I sat staring at the epergne last night and I figured out what design I wanted to follow. At first, I thought of some sort of bushy greenery around the base but then something my son said popped in my mind. He said the epergne looked like am antique Greek or Roman vase. I immediately thought of a water fountain. With that thought the vision formed and I knew what direction I had to take.

In the bottom level, I pictured water. Rather than use real water that I would have to change often as well as color, I thought about blue glass. I have some tumbled glass in shades of blue and white and a friend gave me some polished glass. Both have the colors of water, however I think I like the glossy shine a little better.












I picked dyed cup shells in shades of red, yellow and orange. For the flower center I used very tiny whelks. As I explained in the first part, I assembled the flowers on the poly sheet.  I placed a dime and a penny next to the flowers for scale.  After 24 hours, I gently lifted them off.

I wrapped the stems with florist tape. This made one stem that was thicker and more stable. After gently pressing the vine in the top section, I put a small amount of moss around the taped wires to disguise them. A few, shorter vines stood straight up, the balance flowed over the side like a water fall. The greenery was perfect.

And then…CRASH. Absolute dismay and shock. But after a few days, I got myself regrouped and started on the tree. When I am through with it, I still want to make flowers for the vine. I reserved the red flowers from the batch I made. The red, green, and black will make a good artistic statement.

I took the yellow and orange flowers for the tree. To cover the backs, I laid three dyed green cup shells together. Putting a small dot of glue on the back of the flowers, I set them on the leaf trio. To simulate buds, I used unopened cup shells. I also glued unopened dyed green cup shells on some of the branches. The new glue I found at Hobby Lobby is great. It glued rock to rock, the broken tree branch and it sets up a little quicker than the 527. On the branches, I held the flowers in place for several seconds before releasing them. After giving the glue a few minutes to become tacky, I carefully pressed the shells against the wood. I am so pleased with this glue. With both Tacky glue and 527, you couldn’t have done this.

The tree isn’t quite finished. I think it needs a few leaves or buds, something. But for now, I’ve made a good start.









I have a large collection of semi precious rocks, all uncut and unpolished. Mixed in are rocks and pebbles that I thought looked interesting as well as a few pieces of petrified wood. I selected a few to lay in the bottom of my arrangement for added weight. Even with shells, the small branch is very light, but so is the metal container. I like the way it looks, also. The rocks could be sprayed with shellac to bring out the hidden facets, but leaving them natural seems to suit this piece better.


Before starting this to work with the pine branch, I did spray it with polyurethane to seal in what little moisture was left. As I said earlier, pine isn’t the ideal choice for this. But since it’s purely for me, it’s OK. Nor is it completely finished. It really needs more flowers and some leaves. The container is just an old brass covered tin pot that once held silk  flowers. I didn’t even try to clean it up. Altogether, it’s very rustic.




About leggygillin

I make Sailor's Valentines, Seashell flower arrangements and other shell art. Blogging about them helps me improve the quality of my work. By looking at my progress through images, I'm able to view the pieces differently. I think also it helps others who may be wanting to learn. Not that I am a teacher, by any means. I'm still learning, growing, and developing my art with each post.
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2 Responses to The Epergne, Part 2

  1. Marlene Wadsworth says:

    How creative!! Thanks for shareing your complete journey of thought process to finished product. It gives me hope to become more creative myself. Also, what is the newly discovered glue???? Sounds like a great new tool. Sincerely, Marlene

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