On the second day the designers were required to make two assignments. The first is a table arrangement, named 'Green Tea for Two'. On a round table they have to create their masterpiece in two hours time, taking into account that the maximum height is two meters. The second preliminary event is a bridal bouquet with no size restrictions, but obviously the 'Oriental Pearl Bride' must still be able to carry the designer’s creation.
Assignment 3 - Green Tea for Two
Araik's vision on the theme: When I tried to visualise this work, my emotions painted a twilight, something very intimate and sincere, a cosy interior that creates inner warmth.
Who would you like to invite for a cup of tea at your table setting? And why?
Well, I can answer that question very easily. I can only see one person by my side in this setting, my beloved wife.
What level of standards should products used in table settings meet? Which choices have you made?
As regards properties, in my opinion the materials used must combine tranquillity, reliability, harmony, mysteriousness and a certain vagueness all at the same time. This is the precise reason why I use a range of greens, browns and a little black in my work. Green is the colour of growth and symbolises peace, hope and freshness. Brown represents stability, constancy and seriousness. These colours create a composed and still atmosphere. And the natural addition to this palette is black, which symbolises confidence and the future. Materials must also meet the same requirement of combing airiness with reliability, for example heavy paper must appear to be soft and velvety.
"Some of the peculiar features of my work stem from that fact that traditionally in China, tea was drunk at a low table, but on further reflection I decided to use a high table, where you can drink tea standing or by sitting on a high stool. I feel that this is more convenient and comfortable. Additionally, I think that when drinking tea, especially in the evening, two people can look at each other standing up straight and can communicate not only by words or glances, but by body language. Quite often we don't even realise it, but this says much more than any word could."
Assignment 4 -Oriental Pearl
Even though the origin of pearls is well known in general, it is very likely that it's the most mysterious precious gem. I think that the lucent mother-of-pearl only arouses thoughts about purity and perfection, the refinement of shapes and lines. In other words, everything an Oriental woman should be. Additionally, when I was thinking about the theme of this work, I came across Chinese philosophy and pondered about truth and the meaning of life, which is undoubtedly involved in the continuance of humankind. I would like my work to seamlessly combine spiritual and material elements, inner and outer beauty. This is where the work "Pearl of the Orient" stems from: foliage twisted round in spirals, the shape symbolising the never-ending universe, with delicate orchids piercing through and a mysterious pearl inside this "miniature universe". Just like a woman, some parts are always shrouded in mystery.
Which techniques did you use? And why?
I used a combination of completely different techniques, such as traditional glue, and original methods like sewing the foliage with zigzag stitching, which becomes an elegant part of the design.
What made you choose the specific products and/or varieties you used for this bridal bouquet?
When I had a good picture of this work ready in my head, not just the message I wanted to communicate, I naturally chose the materials according to the textures and shapes that corresponded to my idea. Delicate flowers were a must, so I chose orchids. I also needed interesting plants with dense, serrated foliage for the bouquet, so I chose Kalanchoe, Vriesea, etc.
"The shape of my stand echoes that of an accordion. When I created this work, I wanted its shape and content to be entirely natural. The silvery colour of the work "Pearl of the Orient" and the black mother-of-pearl are associated with something that is concealed and mysterious, and the refined zigzag shape looks entirely natural. Well, isn't the harmony of all existence, the unity of the universe, one of the pillars of Chinese philosophy?"