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Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Classroom: Art Deco Flower Arrangement Activity

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Sep 15, 2020

In the 1920’s and 1930’s, Art Deco was the popular art style of its day with characteristics that included a fascination with geometry, fragmented forms, and abstraction. Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs held many similar elements found in Art Deco. For this activity, you will be making a geometric impression of shapes made from flower and plant materials that you find in nature.

Above: Frank Lloyd Wright “Tree of Life” Art Glass pattern

Above Frank Lloyd Wright Art Deco designs, left to right:
Waterlillies Tile, Imperial Hotel Peacock Art Glass, Waterlillies Art Glass

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s stained glass windows, which combined abstract form and nature’s geometric patterns, are some of his most widely known designs. In many of his home designs, Wright combined elements of nature with an Art Deco style. The Frederick C. Robie House features some of Wright’s best-known art glass windows and The Hollyhock House incorporates an iconic abstracted hollyhock design pattern throughout the home.

To see examples of how Wright used Art Deco in many of his designs, search on Google Images, “Art Deco Architecture Frank Lloyd Wright.”

For today’s activity, you are going to explore geometric texture and patterns in flowers by duplicating an arrangement of flowers from plant material you find and gather outside.

Materials: 

  • 8 ½ x 11 Watercolor paper or a heavy weight paper

  • Rock

  • Fresh flowers, leaves or plant parts

  • Scissors, wax paper

  • Laminate paper,* tape*

  • Thin sharpie*

  • Picture frame*

  • *optional materials

Instructions: 

  1. Go outside and make observations of the colors and textures that plants display for us. Nature has created plants in many shapes and forms.

  2. Go outside to collect leaves, flower petals, plant parts and put them into in a bowl.

  3. To start, tape down your paper to a stable, hard surface, like a piece of old board. You will be using a rock to lightly tap and grind your plant material on that surface, so make sure that you have a hard surface that will not be damaged by hitting it with a rock.

  4. Create an arrangement of the flowers and leaves on the piece of watercolor paper or thick paper.

  5. Cover the plant material with a piece of wax paper and gently tape down.

  6. Gently tap and grind the plant material, this will make a color impression of the plants onto the paper.

  7. Remove the wax paper and flowers, you may repeat with added flowers until you are satisfied with your picture.

  8. If you would like to add detail to the picture, use your sharpie to outline, add patterns, writing, or borders to the picture.

  9. When finished, it can be accessible in a picture frame, laminated, or used as a coated mat or a front cover for a favorite book or journal.

 


Don’t forget to share your projects with us!

Email images of your Art Deco flower arrangements from this activity to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s Education team at:

education@franklloydwright.org

 


 


 

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is dedicated to providing quality STEAM education experiences to challenge young people around the world to be critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. During this uncertain time, with families around the world keeping their kids engaged in learning activities, the Foundation is proud to offer these lessons and other activities free of charge. Your support helps the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation keep their staff employed and creating education programs at this critical time, and long into the future.

Support these education programs and the work of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

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