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Terrariums by a Guest Artist - Thyrza

There are several different aspects of terrarium making. These include container selection, plant selection, and accessory selection. Our guest artist (Thyrza) has mastered all three of these aspects. And, in particular she has taken accessories to the next level by making her own accessories out of polymer clay. These little additions take the terrarium to a new level. Some of her terrariums evoke an almost magical fantasy world feeling. She has made over 200 terrariums and much of her work is for sale. Her works can be found online: http://thyrza.ca/ . Thyrza Segal welcomes you to her studio.  You can follow her on twitter at http://twitter.com/thyrza . If you are interested in Polymer Clay I have some interesting stuff about it here: Working with Polymer Clay

About Thyrza: With a theatre design background, Thyrza Segal previously worked in film costuming for almost 10 years in BC and now explores lamp design and terrariums in her studio at home.  She has held a Plantscape workshop at Blim and a demonstration during the Drift in 2009. More workshops will be held in the new year at her home studio.

ThyrzaThyrza has given us a complete tutorial showing exactly how to make a terrarium much as she does it. The tutorial takes you step by step through the whole process from beginning to end. Complete with lots of pictures Build Your own Organic Diorama Terrarium




Here is what Thyrza has to say about how she makes terrariums and how she got started:

  I started making terrariums when I saw this great vintage coffee decanter at Value Village- I started seeing them all over the place. I guess no one was picking them up because they did not really have a purpose for them- I mean who decants their coffee in 2009? I also picked up a terrarium how to book in the used book section of Value Village (there always seems to be one or two there). It was very popular in the 70's. The first few I made were doomed- the soil was too heavy and retained water so the roots of all my plants rotted and the soil became moldy- yuck. However, I kept asking questions and researching online and have since gotten the soil mixes more or less right. I started picking up all kinds of glassware and cool ceramics at thrift stores and planting them. I looked all over for miniature stuff that would work in the terrariums but it all looked a bit cheesy and most of the stuff was out of scale with each other. I had some Fimo hanging around from some craft project long abandoned and started making my own miniature stuff to go in with the plants. Over time the polymer clay aspect has really been the most fun part for me. Maybe that is unfair- every aspect of it is fun for me- it takes all my favourite things and rolls them into one project so I never get bored. I get to research online. I get to shop at local thrift stores and also shop online for shiny rocks . I get to make polymer clay aliens whilst watching tv. I get to go to nurseries for weird plants and I get to make living dioramas with all the stuff I gathered together. This is especially fun for me as I have a background in set and costume design for theatre. By now  I have made about 200 terrariums, succulent planters and hanging tillandsia sculptures and still have not gotten it out of my system.

Some of her Terrariums:

Coffee Pot Terrarium Succulent Terrarium

Globe Terrarium Closed terrarium

Plantscapes: Green and Vintage Terrariums by a BC Artist

BC artist, Thyrza Segal has been wowing green-conscious craft lovers in and around Vancouver with her one-of-a kind plant & sculpture environments.
Plantscapes is a collection of handcrafted terrariums, planters and hanging sculptures à la miniature organic dioramas.
Vintage glassware and ceramics are gathered from local thrift stores and re-purposed as art, giving new life to objects that might otherwise be forgotten.
Thyrza Segal uses a variety of plants including very textural succulents, miniature tropicals, mosses and lately tillandsias or "air plants".
What brings these Plantscapes to life are the sculptures she creates for each one.  One of a kind alien figurines and alien plants are sculpted from polymer clay and given homes in their new environments. In the pop surrealist manner, Plantscapes are reminiscent of a Tim Burton film while holding a style of their own.
Colourful glass pebbles, bugle beads and unusual rocks complete the alien atmosphere to the miniature worlds. Plantscapes and herself can be found at: http://thyrza.ca/


If you are considering making terrariums here are some books available on Amazon.com. Terrarium making will open up a whole new world for you. It has for me.

The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature

In The New Terrarium , Tovah Martin, one of America's favorite gardeners, introduces you to the whimsical yet practical world of gardens under glass-a no-fuss way to bring snippets of nature indoors. Wherever you are, in whatever little time you have, terrariums are the perfect tool for nature lovers and gardeners everywhere.


Polymer Clay Fairies, Gnomes and Trolls BookFairies Gnomes & Trolls: Create A Fantasy World in Polymer Clay

A world of polymer clay magic, all in one book! Features 15 step-by-step projects for creating clay fairies, gnomes, trolls and other enchanting figures All materials are readily available at local craft stores The whimsical creatures of fantasy spring to life through polymer clay projects in this beautiful instructional book. Readers will learn to create an entire fantasy land, from the secret door to enter this fantastic realm to the trolls, gnomes, fairies and mermaids who inhabit it. Step-by-step photos allow for re-creating the characters exactly, and readers are inspired to make their own imaginary creatures through a gallery of the author's own figures.

Clay fantasy characters book Creating Fantasy Polymer Clay Characters: Step-by-Step Trolls, Wizards, Dragons, Knights, Skeletons, Santa, and More!





Premium Kit for Small Terrarium (Succulent, Cactus, and Fairy Garden)

Perfect kit for a first time terrarium gardener or to give as a gift. Provides the exact amount of the specific "ingredients" necessary to build a thriving small terrarium. Will work for closed terrariums, open terrariums, fairy gardens, as well as with succulents and cactii. Kit includes terrarium potting soil, activated charcoal, two different sizes of semi-polished river rocks, shag moss, and complete but easy to follow step-by-step instructions. The ingredients supplied are in the following approximate amounts: 9 oz. soil; 8 oz. small river rocks; 8 oz. larger river rocks; 1 oz. activated charcoal; 1 oz. sheet moss. Great for anyone wanting to set up a terrarium without having to go and find all the different pieces separately. Please note that the kit does NOT include a container or plants. Please also note that this kit is for a SMALL terrarium. We recommend using a mason jar if you are making a closed terrarium or a container with a 4 - 6" diameter if you are making a succulent or cactus terrarium.