Last week my teacher set us the exercise of making a 'vase' out of natural materials. I decided to use the bark of the tree pictured below. It is one of the Melaleucas (M. linariifolia, I think) and grown as a street tree near my office. In summer the whole tree is covered in masses of fluffy white 'bottle brush' type flowers.
I have often noticed the large sheets of bark that are shed from it especially after strong winds. These may be over a metre long and as wide as 400cms.
As you can see it grows in paper thin sheets laminated together that are beautiful shades of pale orange-pink .
I wrapped some sheets around a broad plastic tub leaving one sheet to create a loose loop on the left and curve forward on the right. I made a separate smaller cylinder that I have set at an angle inside the lower cylinder. This gave some additional height and hid the plastic tub.
To my surprise the vase I had created was visually stronger than I had expected in spite of the lightness of the bark and its pale colour. Because of this I found placing these chrysanthemums low in the vase better than sitting higher above the rim of the vase.
Greetings from Christopher
4th August 2012