Anthropologie's store displays and windows have long been one of my favorites. The creative window displays like this paper winter wonderland, draw people in to explore. The chance to be part of the team making this year's holiday displays in the Roseville, California store was an opportunity I couldn't pass up and a lot of fun!
A huge mastadon armature greeted us as we arrived to work. Sculpted of chicken wire, pvc pipe and tape, this provided a clue as to what we would be working on!
Winter Laken is the theme for Anthropologie's 20th Anniversary displays, and the medium this year was 'paper', both chosen by the corporate office. Winter Laken is a Swedish holiday which animals help celebrate so the challenge was how to create a menagerie including a rabbit, fox, squirrels, polar bear, and multiple birds, using paper, and as many renewable resources as possible. The Roseville Design team chose to build a Wooly Mammoth in contrast to other stores who were building a polar bear.
A group of about 18 women gathered at worktables as the theme was explained, and instructions were given for the various tasks.
Tables were decorated with mercury glass vases grounded by a sparkling runner setting the wintery mood. Two of the vases had varigated plants inside and one housed scissors and napkins for later use by the work force.
After instructions were given we were invited to have a snack at our leisure. Sarah, the visual merchandiser, had made up little canning jars of Greek yogurt for each of the volunteers.
Spoons were tied with violet yarn to the jars, along with a button tag inviting "Top Me Off!"
Fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries were offered as toppings as well as granola and honey. Mini banana nut muffins were a perfect accompaniment, and water and juices were readily available when we needed to be refreshed.
Each table of workers had a different task. One task was cutting out two dimensional geometric shapes from patterns.
The patterns were printed on tag board, turned over, and then lace was laid on top. Silver and gold spray paint was then applied and when dry, the lace was lifted up to reveal a stencilled pattern of the paper.
We carefully cut out the shapes using the printed patterns,
then folded and taped them
to make three dimensional paper ornaments.
After all that cutting it was time for a little snack!
As the ornaments were taped together, we ran wire through them in order for the design team to string them together into garlands.
Using pieces of cut dowels which were sprayed gold, the design team linked the 3D shapes together.
After many garlands were strung together, they were hung in the foyer of the store with white lights to create a canopy.
Another task was to make paper feathers to be used for the birds to be featured in the store's displays. Wire 'ribs' were sandwiched between two pieces of glued paper and then cut in the shape of feathers.
It was our job to give the feathers life by cutting tiny slits along both sides of the rib.
After enough feathers were cut, the designers 'charred' the edges to give the feathers a more authentic look.
Here is a close up of the bird they already finished to show us for an example.
Here is Starr, the display coordinator, holding up the completed bird for us all to see.
Lastly, another task was for us to 'shred' the Wooly Mammoth fur.
Now remember, the corporate offices required paper to be used as much as possible in the displays this year so a big challenge was how to create Wooly Mammoth fur out of paper?!
Swiffer dusting sheets! Yes, I was in awe! These young women are so creative!
The Swiffer sheets were stained with wood stain to get the color and allowed to dry before we got there, so all we had to do was shred!
The shredded furn was inserted into the chicken wire armature from the bottom up so the 'fur' would overlap and hang down like a natural wooly mammoth's fur would lay.
The tusks were covered with masking tape as more of the fur was put in place.
The wooly mammoth greets all as they enter the store!
Even the backside of this massive animal was completely covered in Swiffer 'fur'! The design team finished the projects and did the installations in the store. They told me to come back a few days before Thanksgiving to get the final pictures!
I hope you enjoy them!
The Wooly Mammoth
Close-up of the Fox
Close-up of the little squirrel house
Isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?!
An accent wall with the sprayed paper motif.
These ornaments look as if they are in suspended animation!
The 3D ornament garland canopy . . .
can be seen from the front window!
A fun day with some of the most creative people I have ever met! Make a point of going by the store if you are in the area this holiday season to see the wonderful animals!
When I went back to take the final photos, I just had to purchase this ornament for my tree - I will cherish it and reminisce about my day here each year as I hang it on the tree. I'd like to thank the whole design team at the Roseville Anthropologie store for hosting the workshop and allowing me to document the day - Good Times!