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TE��A� UM C�AFT

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TERRAR UM CRAFT

Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds

BY Amy Bryant Aiello & Kate Bryant

PHOTOGRAPHY BY Kate Baldwin

Timber Press
PORTLAND / LONDON

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Copyright © 20II by Anly Bryant Aiello & Kate Bryant.


All rights reserved.

Photography by Kate Baldwin.

Published in 20II by Timber Press, Inc.

The Haseltine Building


133 S.W. Second Avenue, Suite 450

Portland, Oregon 97204-3527


www.timberpress.com

2 The Quadrant
135 Salusbury Road
London NW6 6RJ

www.timberpress.co.uk

Printed in China

Design by Nicki Brandt

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


Bryant Aiello, Amy.

Terrarium craft: create 50 magical, miniature worlds /


Amy Bryant Aiello & Kate Bryant;
photography by Kate Baldwin. -- 1st ed.

p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-60469-234-1

1. Terrariums. 2. Glass gardens. I. Bryant, Kate. II. Title.

SB417·B79 20II 635.9'824--dc22


A catalog record for this book is also available from the British Library.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface
PAGE 8

Introduction
PAGE 10

Practical Matters
PAGE 12

Forest Terrariums
PAGE 56

Beach Terrariums
PAGE 84

Desert Terrariums
PAGE 112

Fantasy Terrariums
PAGE 158

Resources
PAGE 188

Index
PAGE 191

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PREFACE
Making a terrarium involves taking elements of nature and arranging them in

a way that is exquisite-a collage with nature. It's like capturing the experience

of walking in the forest and looking down to see a breathtaking organic

arrangement, or spotting an ideal composition in sand, foam, and driftwood

on the beach. A terrarium is a snapshot of that perfect array of natural elements,

somehow contained yet still wild at the core.

Artemisia, our shop in Portland, Oregon, is a space for me to play, both on a

broad scale (the shop is one big, constantly changing installation) and within the

confines of the individual terrariums. Plants, shells, stones, crystals, and other

natural materials are innately beautiful-we hardly need to do anything to them

at all-just spending time in their presence brings out the artist in all of us.

For me, a terrarium is like a secret home inside a home. I often layer materials

in the terrariums, showing what is below the surface; like dreams are to our

daily lives, something that lives underneath and has a separate reality of its own.

Once I begin working on a design, I start to think about making terrariums

when I go to sleep and when I wake up-I feel the excitement of the muse! I wish

that for you as well.

-Amy Bryant Aiello

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NTRODUCT ON
Our natural world is filled with boundless beauty, from A walk in the woods, along a beach, or through a dry
the most delicately random arrangements of bark, moss, canyon would be ideal for getting in an experimental frame
and lichen on the forest floor to graceful heaps of seaweed, of mind. Natural scenery-wind-tossed sand, tawny beach
driftwood, and shell tossed up on a beach. In this book, grass, or mossy rocks-is the best inspiration for creating
you will learn how to distill the beauty of these natural these terrarium collages. In essence, making a terrarium
elements into artful terrariums. really begins with your own relationship with nature. As

you gather your materials, let them guide your creative


The fifty terrariums shown in these pages-loosely
process. Start with materials you love, keep an open mind,
grouped by inspiration into forest, beach, desert, or
and allow them to take you somewhere unexpected. The
fantasy-incorporate a range of fascinating components,
beauty already exists-you are the curator, selecting which
including plants, lichen, moss, crystals, stone, sand, and
pieces will be included and assembling them in a way that
shells. Every project contains a materials list, as well
delights you.
as detailed instructions for composing and caring for the

terrarium (all of which builds on the practical information Once made, set your terrarium where you can enjoy
covered in the first part of the book). And while each and observe it. !f you aren't a gardener or even if you
of the compositions is beautiful enough to be worth think of yourself as a "brown thumb," you can find living
recreating, they were really designed to inspire-to serve as plants that are easy to care for-or captivating dried
catalysts to ignite your own creativity and personal vision. mosses and lichens that require no attention at all, save
Far from being meticulously planned, they were made with for admiration. Add a significant personal memento and
what artist Amy Bryant Aiello had available at her shop at a terrarium can even be a kind of altar, encapsulating
the time the book was created. Even the process of making dreams, passions, and memories. Simple to care for yet
them was intuitive, if not somewhat spontaneous-pieces highly expressive, such terrarium designs bring the natural
were added, swapped out, and gently prodded until they world closer to home-and us closer to nature.
looked right, even during the photo shoot. The idea is to

play with the materials and enjoy the process itself, while

accepting the delicious imperfection of it.

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A helpful primer on all things terrarium, this Glass can readily be found in places ranging from your

comprehensive section covers material choices, plant own kitchen cabinets or recycling bins to thrift stores,

care information, and general terrarium-making yard sales, florists, boutiques, crafting shops and websites,

techniques and tips. Before you embark on a terrarium and kitchenware and home decor stores.

project, take some time to read about the many types


Simple glass receptacles are usually best for showcasing the
of glass containers, the various substrates, and the
kinds of terrariums in this book. Fussier or more ornate
complementary materials including stones, shells,
glass can sometimes distract from the subtleties of form
crystals, moss, lichen, architectural plants, and
that are found in natural materials.
miscellaneous embellishments. Besides your own patch

of nature and local shops, the resource section (page 188) It's sometimes practical to first pick the glassware-the

contains a list of places to purchase materials. Always most prominent part of your design-and let it guide

check local, state, and federal regulations before your choice of materials. But there's nothing wrong with

collecting any natural materials-and take only what starting with your materials and simply seeing where they

you need. take you. The pleasure of the whole process often lies in

that experimentation.

CONTA NERS
When applicable, container dimension details in this book

are recorded as height x width x depth. Don't worry if you

aren't able to find containers with the exact dimensions of


It all begins with the container. A terrarium needs to be those shown. You will likely be making substitutions
clear glass, not only so you can admire the contents but anyway-which is ok!-and might just discover an even
also so any plants inside can absorb needed light. Aside better glass container and materials mix while you're at it.
from these obvious practicalities, the glistening and

reflective qualities of the glass itself are an essential part

of the beauty of the modern terrarium.

Terrarium glassware can be found in a nearly infinite


CLOCKWISE FROM BACK LEFT: tall, skinny vase, large bubble
variety of sizes and shapes. Good terrarium containers bowl, stemmed votive glass (inside bubble bowl), large teardrop
can be repurposed canning and pickle jars, cookie jars, (hanging in backdrop), French canningjar, lidded apothecaryjar,
old bottles, glass cloches and cake trays, wine and beer small teardrop, large and small pyramid vases, small bud vase,
glasses, and many other types of household glassware. cloche on tray, science jar.

� I \ M'\T E 5 15

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Size Shape and lids

Your own personal aesthetic is the best guide to finding


In terms of size, nearly anything can work, from the
an inspiring form for your terrarium. Whether you like
tiniest spice jar on up. The size of the container
the look of a curvy glass teardrop, a modern glass cube,
matters-not only for the plants and other materials inside
a recycled glass jam jar, or something else entirely, there
but also when your living space is limited. Consider where
are numerous styles and shapes to choose from.
the terrarium will go, then measure the "footprint" of

the glass you intend to use to make sure it will fit. This
Should the container be open or closed? Fifteen minutes
is particularly important if you need to place your
of direct summer sun on a closed terrarium can be lethal
terrarium on a narrow ledge, sill, or shelf.
to a living plant within it-even a succulent-so be sure

to keep a lidded terrarium's top off unless it's out of any


If space isn't an issue, you can let your imagination run
direct sun. A closed, lidded terrarium also keeps humidity
wild. It's fun to start with a big, spacious container if you
inside. If you plan to maintain a closed terrarium, choose
haven't made a terrarium before: the options for materials
plants that will relish this humidity and stagnant air. Try
are greater, and temperatures within the terrarium will be
ferns, tropical houseplants, and mosses. Avoid placing air­
more moderate and air flow better. There's also a greater
plants, orchids, or succulents in this environment, as they
margin for error if you forget to water your terrarium or if
are not likely to thrive for long without fresh, buoyant air.
it sits in too hot a spot one afternoon. By the same token,

the smaller the terrarium, the smaller the margin of

error-the plants will have less root space so lack of water

can be more problematic, and a small enclosure will heat

up faster if accidentally left in direct sun.

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