As anyone who has seen this blog knows, I am in love with the flowers that grow wild in South Africa.
Here’s an example of how i am using some of the abundant variety of forms available to anybody by just looking about. In the garden there are abundant plectranthus, in this case a ground-cover with elegant leaves that are both waxy and hairy – the plant is invested in conserving water. It has very small flowers, perhaps 1cm long. The flower is speckled with little pink dots, but it is the form that interests me.
Using a fari bit of magnification to assist my aging eyes, I produced an idealization of the shape.
Having got a handle on the shape, and the way that the petals fold into each other, I carved the thing in wax, with a tiny flower held in a pair of spring-tweezers on the bench in front of me. There is a fair bit of abstraction that goes on – for both formal and practical reasons – the tiny stamens had to go – they were simply too small. Individual florets of the plectranthus are as different as faces, and I was guided by what felt satisfying.
I had it cast, producing this: