Sunday, July 8, 2012


Metals march down the table

In “Summer marches down the table” (June), glass milk bottles held roadside flowers and created a summery presence down the table.  Here is another design for summery, or other, tables.

For an August luncheon last year, glass tubes and metal wires were fashioned into ‘structures’ for flowers and grasses.  Black-eyed Susan punctuate the roadsides now, but the ones above are a daintier, cultivated variety.  Lily turf grass, Lirope, criss-crosses the design, giving it exuberant movement.

The structures consist of ¼” flat (front right, back) oasis wire (, test tubes (, on a 18” tray (Jamali again, sprayed copper).   The flat oasis wire comes in 13 colors (is that bad luck?) in a coil 32.8” long. 

 If you want to make several structures, use half the coil for each tray, count the coils and cut the roll in half. Of course if you are making only one structure, use any amount of the wire that suits the tray or other container.

 It is easiest to take advantage of the coils to fashion the wire, rather than opening it up and completely reshaping it.  Above is a first awkward attempt before I thought of keeping the coils and working with them.

Once you have the section, gently spread it along to fit the length of the tray.

The tubes are wired on the ribbon oasis wire. Both of these are Oasis products made from aluminum, come in the same 13 colors (!) and are soft and easily twisted.   Match it  or contrast it, or use another decorative wire altogether. 

Nestle in each tube firmly and attach it to the ribbon wire at two places.  The tubes can be placed at random or uniformly, depending on the effect desired.  I like the idea that the flowers criss cross each other rather than facing in the same direction.

 Fill the trays with stones, glass or moss and place the structure in it.  The water bottle shown is an easy way to fill the tubes, but those spouted condiment bottles work also.  Failing that, any water bottle or small pitcher….

Waiting to be delivered to the luncheon….  All of the trays are copper but some of the wires are copper and some are a wonderful chartreuse green.

Sweet William, Dianthus c, is one of the few flowers that are only available seasonally (May & early June), and so worth the waiting.  They show off beautifully in the structure.  The connecting green is midollino sticks, a fine, very flexible cane (many colors, which has enormous potential for all sorts of arrangements.  Have fun with this, combine colors and shapes, put it on a mirror instead of a pebbled tray!


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