Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Blackbird Festival: Table Decorations

For the Blackbird Festival I created centerpieces or table decorations that followed the story in the Days of the Blackbird book. In the story, the Gemma hangs baskets so the birds can keep warm during the cold winter, so I followed that idea.
 First, I made the birds out of mat board. I wanted something heavier than paper, so the birds wouldn't warp or distort. I found mat board that was two sided - black and white. It was perfect to show the transformation when the white birds turned black from soot. So, I created a template and made the shape of the bird and then a separate one to make a 3D wing. I adhered the wing with tacky glue, shaded the bird with colored pencils and then added a some dimensional paint to give some sparkle. The birds were inspired by the ones in the book, so they have a "Tomie DePaola look to them". I set them aside and worked on the baskets.
 I found three baskets that were deep enough to hold the birds steady, but low enough to not block the customers view of others at the table. I found some gold wire mesh, florist foam, 1/2 wooden dowel, black tape, raffia and tools.
 I cut the dowel to size, approximately 8 inches tall and then wrapped it with black tape to give it a finished look. I sliced a section out of the top of it, so I could slide the paper bird in and secured it with some glue. Now the bird part was finished. Next, I cut the floral foam to the proper height in the basket and set it inside. I covered it with raffia, to resemble a nest and then secured the gold mesh over the raffia.
The mesh added some sparkle (that doesn't show up in the photo), kept the raffia neat and added some interest. I stuck the birds on the dowels inside each foam and then used them on the tables.
There you have white birds to blackbirds...

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