Monday, March 1, 2010

Vase with Flowers - School Auction Project - Part 2

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school auction art project
Vase with Flowers (continued from Part One)

Final piece hanging in it's spot of honor, the breakfast room of the auction winners.

children's school auction art project

The School Auction Project is finally complete! If you haven't read about the beginning of this ginormous project, check it out. By no means would I say this is an easy project. Every flower and center circle needed two to three coats of paint. This was done in the hallway at school, with my 18 month old son crawling around and two to three students at a time, armed with wet paint brushes. I had help in my home by parent volunteers with wiring the centers on to the flowers, but this part of the project seemed to occupy any moment of idle time while parked in the car line to pick up kids, every waiting room and during any time I watched television for nearly a month. When it came time to attach the flowers to the board, I set up my easel and just started drilling, adding flowers one by one.

school auction art project reference guide
I wanted a reference picture to find which flower was designed by each student. I sketched up a quick drawing of the flowers with colored pencils, labeled each flower with a name on the paper (the flowers are all labeled on the backs), took a picture of the final placement and used adobe photoshop to label the final picture.

beaded flower stems children school auction art project
The flower stems consist of craft/jewelry wire threaded with green glass beads (by the children). I handed each kindergartner a wire with a bolt twisted to the bottom. They were "encouraged" to put a big bead for every length of their thumb of small beads. I drilled eight holes under the vase.

The students threaded the wire with beads, I put the bolt through the hole and twisted the beaded wire around a pencil and stretched it to meet it's intended flower (some being at least a foot above the bottom bolt). This gave the stems an added dimension. A couple bolts have two stems.

school auction art project mod podge vase
The vase is built up on the back to give it the appearance of being half inch thick from the front, but with space at the top for the wire wrapped bolts. To add some additional interest to the vase, I cut strips of card stock and deco-pauged red pieces from magazine pictures. One stripe is at the top of the vase and two stripes are at the bottom. The vase was attached by drilling a two part hole, so the bolts would be sunk into the vase and could be patched with additional deco-pauged green squares. With the vase attached, I brushed on a couple coats of a gloss medium for added shine and stability of the paper.

mitered frame school auction art project
The back of the art piece has a mitered frame set a foot in from the edges, so the piece hangs three dimensionally from the wall. My husband helped out with his air gun, nailing the wood to the back.

school auction art project
I screwed nuts onto the backs of the bolts and using a drumel tool, the long ends were cut so the frame in the back could hang flush with the wall.

The final piece has 31 flowers (a new student arrived on one of the final days of production) and eleven beaded stems (threaded by kindergartners).

school auction art project
The project was auctioned off live and sold for $1700!

Update on Home Project Vase
Our home project isn't quite as grand of course, with only 13 flowers and a total size of 2 feet by 4 feet. If I could do it over I would have the vase smaller as it seems to overwhelm the final piece. Our home piece has been tweaked a couple times since the first position of the flowers seemed to remind me of balloons with long stems. So with two holes at the top to fill, I decided to add two wire butterflies. Although it hangs in my kitchen, it is still incomplete due to me being completely burned out on this project. Hopefully I'll get back to it in the next month and I will post more pictures.


  1. You are beautiful, Laura!! What a great project and what a statement to believing all kids can make something "worthy" and honorable.
    Fabulous end product - one that any one would love to own and cherish in their homes.
    Thanks for sharing and thanks for making a difference! In all of our lives - you are an angel!!!

  2. Congrats on a grand colaboration. You may have just instilled the desire to create in a young mind. That is awesome. And the price it went for was wonderful. You and the others must have been proud. I plan to share this idea with our schools here and the local arts council. Thanks for sharing (I read both posts).

  3. Laura, this is a beautiful project! I love your blog and can't wait to see what you are working on now! Your "about me" made me laugh! We share many of the same characteristics! :) Happy Creating and I look forward to seeing the end result!


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