Things are cranking along in the studio with A Feast of Fennels project!
There are over a hundred ceramic flower heads in my studio right now, on practically every surface. They are in varying stages of finishedness; from raw drying clay, to bisque fired pieces, to glazed pieces that haven’t been fired yet and finally to the first batch of finished flowers. I’m really loving how bright and colorful these came out and I can’t wait to see them up and silhouetted against the sky!
About the project: A Feast of Flowers will be six ceramic and steel sculptures inspired by the umbel flower structure of fennel plants. Placed staggered along the sides of the trail and silhouetted against the sky, the installation will create a sense of whimsy and wonder for the thousands of patrons who use the trail as well as bring an awareness to our connection with nature.
My inspiration for this particular installation comes from my exploration of the natural world, and my curiosity about identifying plants, especially the edible ones. As an amateur forager, every hike in the woods has become like a trip to the grocery store for me. Fennels are one of the most recognized edibles that grow in California, available for the taking, yet there is a tendency to not trust the wild plants. This disconnect we humans have with nature, the loss of knowledge about native plants and how that relates to the global issue of food insecurity are all concepts explored with this project.
It is also my hope that whimsical oversized flowers will create a fun and dramatic impact for the area, will draw locals and tourists alike outside to connect with nature, learn about local plants and of course take a moment to stop and smell the flowers.