How to Make a Giant Artichoke

First, go get an artichoke.  It helps to know what such a thing looks like.  Maybe draw a picture, or trace a few leaves.

Second, you can eat it now.  Steam it with lemon slices and garlic for about 40 minutes and dip the leaves in melted butter. Mmmmm.

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I started with my basic “beach ball” pattern, and made a series of overlapping leaf shapes.  The original artichoke was a little flatter, so I decided to give this one more dimension by making the largest leaves two layers with stuffing in between them.  My next innovation was to cut a long row of the smaller leaves and machine-sew them into gathers and coil them around the top.  I may do a scarf in this style!

The hardest part of my sculptures is the initial start-up.  I am always afraid of two things: I can’t make it better than before and I can’t make it at all.  I require a lot of pep-talks along the way.  Since I was making lots of changes to this piece, there were many steps where I thought I was about to fail.  In the end, I learned new things and came out with a most beautiful finished product.   I’ll post more of the photo shoot later this week.

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