Andi Best Freelance Designer

Pub Garden in A Pint

  • Published 01-08-2020
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Pub Garden in A Pint
Pub Garden in A Pint is a sculptural piece I shared with my social media audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram back on July 4th to coincide with the significant slackening of lockdown restrictions around pubs, restaurants and other indoor catering establishments.
I'd conceived the idea for the miniature sculpture years ago when I discovered a pint glass in our recycling bin. My wife had always been inexplicably averse to this glass and decided to chuck it out on the sly. That didn't sit well with me, so I rescued it and earmarked it for artistic repurposing.
At the time I was quite interested in artists and photographers working with scale models (notably @slinkachu_official and others whose work features in books adorning my shelves Microworlds and Global Model Village) and how tiny plastic figures could be situated among life-sized objects to create humorous narratives. I'd never attempted making anything like this before but fancied giving it a go.
Pub Garden in A Pint
Containing a pub garden in my pint glass felt like a natural fit, and I was purposeful in making the glass central to the piece, allowing it to take on a vivarium-like quality almost as if a wider world beyond its confines didn't exist for those within. The deliberate choice for the congruous and charming title 'The Tulip' (named for this particular design of glass) on the pub's signage further emphasises the limitation of their emplacement.
Pub Garden in A Pint
As hospitality spaces were authorised to reopen, this piece presented a new subtext; that the punters held captive by the surrounding glass are upholding the now familiar themes of bubbles, isolation and social distancing. This wasn't intended to be a commentary piece, but I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't acknowledge the metaphor.
Pub Garden in A Pint
Making the sculpture was a vastly enjoyable process, and here are the steps I took to create it:
Pub Garden in A Pint
1) The first step to building Pub Garden In a Pint was filling the glass with soil, topped with model railway ballast purchased from a local hobby shop. This was primarily to raise the focus of the piece to the widest point of the glass where there was more space to work with.
Pub Garden in A Pint
2) The foundation of the model is a sheet of plastic crazy paving that I'd purchased from another local hobby shop, trimmed to shape and size. It was beige out of the packet, so I had to paint a couple of layers to achieve an authentic concrete patio look, complete with tiny stones, tufts of errant greenery and even a smattering of bird excrement.
Pub Garden in A Pint
3) The calibre of pub I was aiming for was slightly down-market; cheap-and-cheerful and a bit run down, which called for a relatively neglected aesthetic. I constructed some make-shift brick planters to house yellow blooms and styled them to look timeworn.
Pub Garden in A Pint
4) I'd purchased some laser-engraved wooden picnic table templates from a hobbyist on Etsy. Before I assembled them I painted them with a thick, glistening brown finish to mimic years' worth of poorly applied coats of weather-treatment. Later, I would claw some of that back to give the tabletops a worn look, and again, a dappling of white poo.
Pub Garden in A Pint
5) Once all the components were glued in place, including the prefab inhabitants of the scene, the complete vision started to come together. I erected a large signpost painted in a similar overzealous brown treatment, bearing a logo for the pub now christened The Tulip. With a few more tufts of greenery sprouted, and some additional ballast sprinkled to disguise the plastic trim, everything was nestled into the glass and the piece was complete.
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