Our hand-crafted paper flowers have been a big hit in 2016!
We initially created the flowers and presented them at the opening night of Roslyn Burns’ exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries in March.
Larger versions of the flowers were then used to adorn donation collection jars for the Tree Street Art Safari in April. In early July, we participated in ‘Chill,’ an event at Stirling Street Arts Centre organised by Bunbury Art Connect. We were making the flowers on location when the magic started to happen.
But before we tell you about that, we thought we’d show you how to make the flowers using a step-by-step guide patiently photographed for us by Carensa Watts.
You’ll need square paper, a glue gun, dowel and buttons. A tiny saw (for cutting the dowel) is handy.
Getting the Paper Right
Having a supply of machine-cut square paper is ideal for getting started. More ambitious flower-makers might prefer to cut square paper by hand.
If you have paper with a pattern on one side, place the pattern side down. If you have paper with a design on two sides, place the design you wish to have on the outside of the flower face down.
Fold the square paper into a triangle.
Fold the right and left tips onto the centre tip. First one tip.
Then the other.
Fold the two top flaps back on themselves to make smaller triangles.
Reverse fold (fold in the other direction) the two folds you have just made to make them pliable.
Open and squash those two triangles. First one side.
Making sure to really flatten it.
Then the other side.
Fold the left and right tips down to reveal the opposite side of your paper. Your folds are almost complete now.
Fold your left side and your right side in on themselves. First one side.
So it looks likes this.
Then the other side.
Your folded paper is now ready for gluing.
Gluing and Repeating
Use a glue gun (best and easiest) to apply glue to one flap of the folded paper. Proceed with a little caution as the glue is super hot!
Gently glue the two flaps together…
…to create the cone-shaped petal.
Make four more petals to give you a total of five.
The Dowel and Gluing
Once your petals are complete, cut a piece of dowel. We used dowel that is five millimeters in diameter. We used a length of dowel that is approximately three times the length of the petal seam.
After much experimenting, we decided that it works best to place a line of glue along the seam of the petal and not along the dowel.
Then – and working quite quickly so the glue does not dry – attach the glued seam to the dowel.
While that dries, you can apply a line of glue to the next petal seam.
Each time you place a glued petal seam on the dowel, place it snugly against the previous one. This will ensure that you have enough room for your five petals.
Here’s the flower with all five petals.
The Finishing Touch
Buttons work well to jazz up the flower’s centre. Place a blob of glue on the exposed dowel.
Working quickly, you can then position your button. You can glue a second button for added dimension.
Making Magic Happen
The flowers started to really take off when we made them at Bunbury Art Connect’s ‘Chill’ event at Stirling Street Arts Centre in early July.
Smoosh Paper by Raelene Byrnes
Exhibiting artist Raelene took notice and generously donated five pages of her ‘smoosh’ paper which we used to make our first flower with original handcrafted paper. We cut her five pages into squares and we were off and folding. From there, it just snowballed.
Doodles by Amanda Doust
Doodle Queen Amanda offered up five pages of her doodles which we turned into a stunning black and white flower.
Sketches by Tom Ansell
Tom ripped five pages from his sketchbook from which we made a small flower with hints of his artwork showcased on each petal. We used a detail to fashion a leaf.
Prints by Robyn Harris
Robyn had attended the recent workshops at Edith Cowan University and experimented with a variety of print-making processes. She donated a stack of paper for us to transform into flowers.
Masses of Colour by Janine Egan
Janine offered us a large piece of paper on which she had created vibrant geometric designs. Her paper was cut up, folded and glued into a striking flower.
Black Paper by Lisa Egan and Roslyn Burns
We used paper donated by Lisa and Roslyn to make tiny flowers. This paper was primarily black with hints of colour. These flowers have a much different look and feel.
Flower Takes Flight
We were honoured when Peter Kovacsy purchased one of our flowers and transplanted it to Pemberton as a gift for his wife. Peter is an award-winning artist and designer with an international reputation whose studio is open to the public (calling ahead is best). Pictured here is the artist in his Pemberton studio with the Art Partners flower.
Are You Feeling Inspired?
If you decide to give flower-making a try, we’d be delighted to hear in the comments section how you go.
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