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Juxt Rewards

July 11, 2010

Mixed, not matched

To juxtapose is to put things together for the purpose of comparison or contrast. I love a good juxtaposition … and creating an unexpected mash-up is lots of fun. Experimenting, putting things next to each other, on top of each other, into each other, then stepping back and having a look, is all part of the process. The best juxtapositions work because they make sense, and they allow the viewer in on the creator’s thought process. The planter projects in this post accomplish all of this, are super simple and are fun to look at, too. First, at left, a simple, rough, open-cube cinder block meets a shiny-smooth yellow ceramic pot, for the purpose of showing off a great ‘dinosaur’ cactus I bought today at the downtown Riverside farmers market. The juxtaposition of rough against smooth, dull cement against candy-colored pottery, works because proportionately both pieces are similar and their basic shapes echo each other. Also, the wildly organic crested cactus’ shape contrasts pleasingly with the squarish geometry of pot and brick. Next, a modern planter in white glazed ceramic is used as a stand for an amazing bowl-shaped pot made of hundreds of tiny, flat river rocks. Both pieces are curvy, the lower one simple, modern and stylized, the other far more complex in both color and construction. For a final contrast I’ve added a sculptural ‘pine cone’ cactus. Its height stands up to all the curves nicely, and its surface texture relates visually to the upper pot’s surface.

Smooth, rough; in, out

More ‘pine cones’ gather in a glossy, avocado-colored, pot from the 1960s. The pot’s shapely tapered form needed just a little more height for me, so I added a rusted metal basket beneath it. The open wire form of the basket extends the pot’s tapering shape, but I wanted still more. So, I added yet another taper in the form of a rough carved wooden stump-stool. Now, the whole arrangement has an in-out-in-out-in visual rhythm, and height, that makes me happy, not to mention a cool mix of contrasting materials. It’s easy to come up with pleasing juxtapositions, all it takes is time — lots of stuff! — and a certain confidence in one’s innate design sensibility. Time, and stuff? Those are relatively easy to come by. Confidence, though, comes from practice and looking; taking the time to do both will help you develop the ‘eye’ needed for successful juxtaposin’.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    July 11, 2010 4:48 am

    You have the coolest stuff ever. I wish I had more cool things to juxtapose in the garden.

  2. July 11, 2010 6:02 pm

    Wow and wower! I absolutely love your style. BTW my comments are still randomly showing up and then not showing up. So just in case you never saw the ‘happy birthday’ wish I will repeat it here….

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 11, 2010 6:21 pm

      Sorry, you’re still having trouble, Loree…. Thanks for the good wishes!!

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