[editor’s note: Wiley wrote the title of this post; Ingo’s not patting herself on the back! 🙂 ]

by Ingo

I decided to make terrariums a theme for my wedding centerpieces and wedding invitations.   Terrariums are awesome- they are portable, pretty and you can put all sorts of weird things inside (like plastic dinosaurs!).  In order to make these centerpieces as economical and sustainable as possible, I spent a good 6 months covertly stealing plant cuttings from neighbor’s yards and restaurant windows.  By the time the wedding rolled around, all of my pockets were filled with a fine layer of dirt and a few dead forgotten succulents.

Succulent terrariums are pretty easy to keep alive.  They really only need enough sunlight so that they don’t get “leggy”.  The non-succulent terrariums took a little more trial and error.  I basically planted whatever plant I found, watched it die, then replaced it, then watched it grow mold, then replaced it.  Eventually some things stayed alive!  There are a bunch of really good terrarium tutorials out there so don’t do what I did.  My head was wedding panic crazy so I threw things together, but now I wish I had followed instructions more closely since they have a propensity to grow mold when the top is closed.

I hollowed out a lightbulb and stuffed some dried billyballs and reindeer moss inside.  It was a dangerous experience that included a few splinters of glass barely missing my eyeballs.  You should try it too!

The crab shell was collected in Aruba during our last destination wedding shoot.  The smooth wood piece was collected in Tahoe during our annual snow boarding trip.  See?  Stealing from other people and from nature is way better than buying.

Now… wedding invitations.  The project started out with the wise decision to make something simple since people are going to throw them out anyway.  Then somehow I got really ambitious (crazy wedding brain) and decided on abnormal sheet dimensions that could not be cut with a traditional paper cutter.  Then I wanted to die.  Then I decided I was going to send out Evites instead.  Then Jerry nursed my brain back to health, and I finished the project.

These bad boys are printed with a combination of Lino-blocks and Gocco Machine.  I hand-sized and mounted three linoleum pieces on masonite and carved three blocks:
1. off-white layer (the jar)
2. light pool layer (stuff inside the terrarium)
3. brown layer (all the lines)

Then I cleaned off the light pool paint on block#2 and only inked a portion of it red, to create the red accents.
Then I cleaned off the red paint and inked a portion sage green to create more accents.
THEN, I hand painted in some of the lighter red/orange accents.

Each block has to be individually inked and pressed for each print, which was very time consuming.  Each print had 5 ink blocked layers and one hand painted layer.  And I made 90 prints, which comes out to 450 separate inkings and printings!
After all of my prints dried for the 6th time, I started to gocco in the text.  I used two colors, the same pool blue and an off white. A hurdle that I encountered was that the oil based gocco paint dried extremely light on my kraft paper, even after 2-3 separate applications.  I emailed Yale a frantic panicky email with tears in my eyes and she responded with the elegant solution of using my water based linoblock ink (that’s why I am so glad she’s my partner!).  For all you gocco-ers out there, you don’t need to use the expensive gocco ink!  As long as the ink has some thickness to it, you can probably use to for gocco.  Oil based inks probably work better because they don’t run as easily as water based ones.
Here, a fancy looking squirrel holding up a sign for the address:

I can with complete certainty say that it was because of these invitations that I am still backed up with work I didn’t do last summer.  I shake my fist at you horrible beautiful lovingly crafted invitations!