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Pine Cone Flowers!

 
steward & bricolagier
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Due to weirdness, I made a batch of pine cone flowers! They can be done many ways, me being me and having what I have on hand, I used spray paint and acrylic paints. They came out bright, rowdy and lovely, and are currently (late winter) being a breath of impending summer in the house.
The bouquets are made with parts off dead fake flowers, this rental backs up to a graveyard, and there's a big burn pile of trash, including lots of flowers. The basket bouquet has some fakes in there. And I sprayed a bunch of gum balls to match them.

We got 2-3 cuts out of each pine cone, we ended up using high leverage scissors to cut out a section of (petals? what is the word for pine cone bits?) then putting anvil type lopping shears into the crack and cutting them. We tried a bunch of ways, and that worked best for us. Each flower is different, and you can see in the pics how the various cuts gave different types of flower.

They really came out cute, and when I sent them to the person who commissioned them, I kept some for us.
First pictures are various quick bouquets, just to show her how they look, then the full layout of all of them she could choose from, then the bouquets I made from what I kept. They all click open bigger if you want to look closer. Edit: looks like the full layout picture doesn't open bigger. I'll post it separately as a reply to this thread.












 
Pearl Sutton
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Bigger version of the layout pic

Feb-20-grid-composite.jpg
Layout of them all, click to enlarge
Layout of them all, click to enlarge
 
gardener
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Pearl, that brightens my otherwise gloomy day!

Eric
 
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Hey Pearl

If you thought of selling those, one-off, what price would you need?  Because they are fairly unique and likely to remain so, those flowers might work in a high-to-VeryHigh end dilettante market. Retail might be somewhere north of $75.

Just an idle thought. That kind of stuff always takes way more work than one would think, but still... <g>


Cheers,
Rufus

 
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Those are delightful and gorgeous.  Great work Pearl!  Now to get rich off them....
 
Pearl Sutton
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Rufus Laggren wrote:
If you thought of selling those, one-off, what price would you need?  Because they are fairly unique and likely to remain so, those flowers might work in a high-to-VeryHigh end dilettante market. Retail might be somewhere north of $75.

Just an idle thought. That kind of stuff always takes way more work than one would think, but still...



Glad you like them!!  :D

I don't know, I'd have to think hard. For one thing that type of cone isn't from here, my sister mailed me a box of them to make into flowers for her for her birthday. They came from Colorado, not sure what types I can get around here, the ones I know of are too small and REALLY sticky with sap.
There are people selling them on Etsy, not sure how many they actually sell, Etsy Search "pinecone flowers" I have sold on Etsy in the past, not those, custom corsets, but have no work space right now and no time to do stuff. I REALLY got tired of dealing with sales. I like to create, I HATE to sell, I'm more inclined to give things away than deal with the bullshit factor of selling it. I'm hoping once I have work space in our home to find someone who likes to do sales to deal with that part of it all. I find people very difficult to deal with some days.

They did take longer than expected, multiple coats of paint that all had to dry before recoating, etc. then the centers, and drill out the stem holes, and deal with issues... Plus the learning curve on those was steep, I had never cut a pine cone that way. Took a while to figure out how to do it easily. (clip out a section, then use anvil loppers, with the anvil in the channel you cut) and looking at each cut, seeing the flower in it and trimming it out to be a flower, not just a damaged pine cone...

They probably would sell easily in the right market. I'll teach anyone who wants to learn how I did them. Most of it is in the paragraph above. And a shitload of spray paint :)

Thank you for liking them :) I think they came out CUTE!!
:D

 
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Very creative, I love them.  At first glance I thought Zinnias.  So cool they are pine cones. I love projects like this, thanks for sharing.
 
Rufus Laggren
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They look great. I didn't know people sold them on Etsy, though. There goes the market! <g>  When I saw them I immediate thought of the place my sister works, which for 4 generations has catered to the whims and foibles of the Chicago North Shore matrons looking for plant decoration and ornament of various sorts.

One of the things about the very top of the high end market is that singularity and uniqueness can have as much value as the physical aspect of the object itself. Also, social cache'. Of course, the physical item definitely needs to appeal somehow. As a child, I had very rich relatives, once upon a time on one side of the family, and got to observe (and get real tired of) Money walking around, shopping, "trying to decide". The right venue with the proper social position and atmosphere can sell almost anything. But over longer term the items do need to average very high quality, in some way or another, for the store to maintain it's success. Also, being able to physically handle and touch an item is de rigeur (sp?) at the top of retail. It's really as crazy and mixed up as it seems. <G>

And I completely understand about the "selling thing".   I was thinking about how selling might work and realized that it would have to involve getting samples into the hands of each store manager or their buyer. I used to poo-poo middlemen and I still don't have a real high regard for that profession as a whole... However, I see where it's a completely different skill set and personal attitude than that of the artist or craftsman and that it can turn into real work real fast. And _that_ leads me to start understanding the (actually important, functional) role of conventions, fairs, etc in that they provide a time/place for the sellers and buyers to meet "wholesale" instead of chasing each other around one at a time. IOW, those gatherings not _just_ big drunken parties, an excuse for traveling businessmen to get away and misbehave...

I think for craft art like the pine cone flowers the usual approach is to find a "rep" who handles lines of somewhat similar items and has developed (hopefully) an extensive list of retail outlets which find those items suitable. It's hard work which I witnessed first hand. An old friend once repped artists from central Mexico who created small sculptural art and 3x4" colored ink drawings, matting them in very fine small metal frames. These turned out to be favorites. She ran the business for five years, visiting and traveling the area for 2-3 weeks each year to make sure products were still viable, see new stuff, meet new people and buy the samples she thought she could move. But in the end, even though really loving Mexico, it became life sucking work back home, which took the fulfillment out of it. She still visits the region, but sales promotion is just not the point of life for her.

There are folks who have enthusiasm and decent taste who do make a living promoting new and unique products. But it's definitely something one needs to have a tolerance as well as a talent for.


Regards,
Rufus
 
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