Yucca: Armatures, Protos, Colors


It’s end of day, for now. Made some progress with the yucca exploration.


I began with tearing brown paper into thin strips.


And wrapping multiple layers over florist wire to build up a convincing yucca stalk-and-stem armature.


Yucca species are varied in color, though not as much as succulents, perhaps. In miniatures, I ascribe less to slavish reproduction and more to evocation of spirit :) Starting with white cardstock for this one, each leaf end gets tipped with Winsor & Newton Promarker Sunflower and Amber, both sides.


Broad strokes of Pear Green color each leaf.


Both sides colored. The inks blend as they build up and mellow as they dry.


Thin cross-leaf striping, in Moss.


More cross-striping on the ends with Amber, and surprise leaf tipping in Poppy.


I snipped through the lower edge, applied a thin line of glue, and began rolling the leaves up into a cluster.


Adding a generous dab of glue to the rolled end to ensure a well-bonded base.


Inverted in a cup of fine gravel, I let the leaf clusters dry completely. This makes arranging and styling easier — and more robust — later on.


Clipping the end of each armature branch with pliers creates a flat surface on which to glue a leaf cluster. Holding until set ensures uprightyness :)


Watching glue dry. Again.


I added two more trunks, wrapping everything together at the base.


To improve the transition from leaves to trunk, I cut sections of 7 or 8 leaves and applied glue.


I wrapped these just below the base of the leaf/trunk join.


All trunks wrapped with leaves, and drying. I’m awaiting a larger cylinder pot to plant this particular specimen in, before unfurling and styling the leaves — the really satisfying part.


I’m fairly happy with the appearance and versatility of this plant concept thus far. They work well on an armature, date pit stem, or just as foliage — and any combination thereof. I even think this pattern and method could work for Sansevieria, with the right colors and a little bit of shaping.


The next step is to explore and evaluate color stock choices, which brings us back to the first photo in this post. Above is medium green cardstock (cut with a dulling blade, resulting in torn, dragged edges and general scuzz. This particular design cut really seems to blunt a blade fast :(

This green leaf set is colored with Holly swashes and edging, and a subtle Leaf Green vertical stripe. Very different than coloring on white. Each stock seems to absorb the inks differently, as well. I’ll show some side-by-side color comparisons next time.






16 thoughts on “Yucca: Armatures, Protos, Colors

  1. Pepper says:

    I really like the torn paper technique and how it adds graduated texture to the stem. I also love how those markers blend and build up colour. The Yuccas look fabulopus Nancy :0)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Torn paper is a good, versatile method, and I far prefer it to florist tape. I started rolling the individual trunks or branches on the cutting board to make them nice and round before wrapping them together. And yes, alcohol-based markers behave quite differently than water- or pigment-based ones (though I love them all :) Yuccas are really fun to make!

  2. elizabeth s says:

    Your starburst pattern really allows for a life-like Yucca plant. The many layers of leaves and then the way you have colored them gives them personality as well as substance. Incredible work Nancy- keep up the momentum!

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Elizabeth, it’s so very satisfying and encouraging to hear your perceptions… “personality as well as substance” indeed! Who could want for more? Thank you!

  3. Barbara W. says:

    The detail is awe-inspiring! And such colours! (Suddenly I have an urge to dig out an old Eagles album and maybe even the tequila hibernating in the depths of the cupboard..)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Coloring is fun! And as I mentioned, I’m not completely bound by reality :) I say go for sudden urges… just make sure the tequila is of excellent quality, and do not pollute it with anything sugary, just ice cubes and sparkling water in a tall glass. Agave is related to yucca :)

    • Nancy Enge says:

      Thank you, Brae. It’s meant to be encouragement for all makers, deskmess and self included. And idea development is one of my favorite parts of the whole process :)

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