Disney's Land of Oz Garden
I was approached by Disney to make poppies for the Land of Oz Garden at Epcot Center in Orlando Florida for the flower and garden festival. My crew and I leapt into production and installed 63 poppies on schedule!
These poppies are made using my own technique in glassmaking. Many people are familiar with blown glass, but that's not what I do. I make glass like a painter paints. My technique is to cut brilliantly colored sheets of glass by hand into the shapes of brush strokes. Then I treat my kilns as canvas, laying out these shards of glass as if painting. When these pieces are fired to 1475 degrees Fahrenheit they melt, fuse and are carefully cooled into a flat form. The next day after the pieces have cooled I evaluate every flat flower, petal by petal, and imagine its petals twisting and turning in the wind. Then I take curves of stainless steel and stack them in the kiln upside down and backwards the form of the finished piece. Then I balance the flat flower on the stack of forms and fire it a second time to 1200 degrees. At this temperature the glass adapts to its finished three dimensional form. The centers of each flower are made the same way. Then the pieces of glass are drilled and using glue and bolts are assembled into their finished form. This process takes four days to complete per flower.
Then Val and I packed a van to the gills and drove to Florida, avoiding every pothole. They all made it! Val and I spent one whole day cutting copper and installing a field of poppies. Everyone at Disney was a delight to work with. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoyed making them.
Please come back April 5th to the 7th, 2013 as I am invited to sell my work here at Epcot for the 2013 Flower and Garden Festival. This field of poppies is available for your garden! For more information please contact the gallery at 517-349-1345.