Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Convention Centerpieces

Late last year I agreed to take on a project for this year's National Convention. This consisted of making a dozen table centerpieces for the Friday night dinner. The idea began when co-chairperson Jane Albright ran across a large styrofoam ear of corn last fall. After she mentioned the idea that it could be a good start for a centerpiece, based on the corncob mansion of the Scarecrow, I was inspired and offered to take on the project.

My inspiration was the color plate by John R. Neill, found in The Emerald City of Oz. I did make some changes in the arrangement of the windows and the top of the house, but otherwise attempted to stay true to Neill's concept.
I had the idea of creating something along the lines of an old fashioned German candy container - a paper mache piece that would open to reveal a surprise inside. Starting with the styrofoam corn, I carved windows and doors then added window frames and shutters. This was then used to create a rubber mold, as I needed to make a dozen finished pieces.


The base, bottom of the corn and topper were also cast in paper. Stairs were created from balsa, and all parts were painted and glittered to add sparkle. I discovered metallic crepe paper online, which made excellent husks, and a couple garlands of artificial flowers were pulled apart, painted and glittered to add more color and interest to the base.


The final touch was to add Oz characters, taken from the Oz Toy Book, reduced in size and glittered. Add a bag of candy to the interior of each one and voila! A centerpiece!


10 comments:

Nathan said...

These are quite impressive! I remember seeing them in pictures from the convention.

ilex said...

Brilliant! I'll bet everyone was wowed. Your patient attention to detail is so impressive. Thank you for sharing this. I always loved that color plate.

Sam A M said...

That was GREAT!!!

So many pictures, a great piece/s of work and fun to read!!

I Love it!

Ledeaux said...

Oh wow - this is splendid work! I especially appreciate seeing the pics-in-progress.

Stephanie said...

This is fantastic. A labor of love.

KrisCrafter said...

Great job on the center pieces! From the attention to detail and fabulous craftsmanship you just might get the task I years to come!

Carrie K said...

I came from Diane's vlog. I just had to see the details. These centerpieces are awesome!! The detail is amazing! I bet everyone was awe struck!!

SiskiyouSue said...

I also came from Diane's blog. These are wonderful, so much detail! I would never have thought to use the styrofoam as a mold. Very clever. Thanks for sharing your process.

ericshanower said...

Bill, they were stupendous. I can't believe the work you put into them.

Bill Campbell said...

Thanks! I can't deny that it was a challenge - particularly the "make 12 of them" part - but it was worth it!