Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pansy Vase

This is a bit of fun.

A lady asked me at a show if I made Pansy Vases. I'd never heard of them before.

They are small vases that are designed to hold water at the bottom and have small holes to thread pansy stems through so you wind up with a dome covered with blossoms. Any small flower will work, but I guess pansy fanciers are the ones roaming venues in search of such things.

So, of course, I went home and made some and then called her to let her know I had some for sale.

They're simple, really, to make. Just establish a form that's like a cup, making sure you have a flat base. The bring the sides up and collar it into a dome, closing the top and smoothing it out.

Make sure you use your pin tool to make a small hole so as the dome dries, the air inside can escape over time. Otherwise, the shrinkage will compress the enclosed air and all kinds of problems can develop.

This example was my first test piece, so I had fun cutting different-sized holes to see what worked best.

Now, you could use one of these as a frog for longer-stemmed flowers if you just threw the dome, cut out the holes and designed a vase with a rim near the top that the frog's base could rest upon the rim.

Or, you could take off on this form for a toothbrush holder, kitchen utensil holder, clay tools holder, etc.

Or stretching the imagination even further, you might use it inside something to support a mixed media piece, make a face-mask for a head, a lantern window. The possibilities are limitless.

This is a tiny frog for a vase I found in a junk shop. It surely went atop some other base-like piece, but it would work anywhere with something to elevate it above the water bowl. I just like it for what it is.

I'm not a gardener, so here's what I do with test pansy vases.

I remembered. I had an odd little vase in my basement from the McCoy factory. I found it, dusted it off and began researching. You guessed it; it's a pansy vase.


Sister Creek Potter said...

None of these are what I think of as pansy vases. My notion is ring--hollow in the center (no base) and the ring divided in two. The water and the pansys set in/on the ring. Don't think I am doing a good job of describing the vessel...

Clay and Fiber Artist said...

I know what you are talking about. The small ring type ones were popular in the '50s and '60s.

They are sometimes called pansy frogs as well.

Sometimes these porcelain flower holders are quite elaborate with rings within rings.

Similar ceramic of a more elaborate type were used before the French Revolution to decorate long banqueting tables. They even included small sculptures and candleholders all in the same style that interlocked.

I'll see if I can find an example.