For quite awhile, I used to feel a little trepidation whenever I encountered a vase with two openings. I’d somehow gotten stuck with the idea that both openings had to be equal and show a formal balance. I’d had some moderate success, but wasn’t really thrilled with the results.
One day I was gifted with a 1950s modernistic two opening vase that was quite non-symmetrical. I felt like I was working with two different vases. It occurred to me that I could make something on the order of fraternal twin arrangements instead of identical twins. I found out that I was free to design all sorts of shapes and that two openings, or more, only facilitated that much more creativity.
Today, I have three vases with symmetrical shaped bases and openings. The results surprised me.
A small native American wedding vase from Santa Fe, New Mexico has the feel of timeless tradition coupled with an abstract symbology that looks modern and cross-cultural. The windswept floral design reminds me of the Southwest U.S. mindset, but informed by Japanese Ikebana discipline.
A Nemadji wedding vase looks like it was created by members of the First Nation people, especially with the random glaze details. While the pottery is inspired by traditional Indian design and constructed from glacial clays, the company was started by Swedish immigrants to Minnesota. The pieces are highly collectable. In this case, I continued the appearance with dried specimens of midwestern flora. This is a reminder of the Plains people who used to inhabit my part of North America.
A decidedly early 20th Century sensibility comes through the styling of the Abingdon double cornucopia vase with pea soup green glaze. The informal splash of various colors and flowers brings a cheerful departure from the conformity of holiday season decor. I was aiming to bring out the bounty and promise of fertility associated with the approaching new year in this composition.
The Blue Jay of Happiness is reminded that creative challenges can be overcome by facing them head on with a flexible attitude.