Finalizing the floral placement. This was Wednesday morning, April 25th, the same day that the artists must drop off the art. Mary Ann wanted her project to be "fresh" as the flowers need to last for 5 days. In this picture, you can see the final glass vase she selected which is much shorter and lighter than the previous.

Transporting the final piece from her studio to the Institute. Much care was taken to ensure the pieces wouldn't shift in transit.

These are the 4 final sides of the vessel after firing in Mary Ann's kiln. Each side took 14 hours to fire in the kiln, up to 1400 degrees.

"Armor and Helmet" is the piece that Mary Ann chose for her 2018 Art in Bloom entry. She was drawn to his bold and dynamic look, plus his intricate and delicate details. 

Photo courtesy of: Minneapolis Institute of Art

Mary Ann began her fused glass work. Each panel is 24 inches high and 13 inches wide. She created his arms side by side to ensure symmetry. The gold braided detail is a special paint used in fused glass art. It remains on the glass during the extreme temperatures of the firing process. The small amber glass pieces are called "frit."

Mary Ann sketched a plan for floral placement. It changed slightly as she created the piece, as happens with art.

The glass and wood vessel is incredibly heavy. Mary Ann's husband created a special dolly cart attachment to make transferring the piece much easier.

Here is the original vase and foam structure Mary Ann used to give the piece height. The idea was that the large glass vase would be hidden in the vessel, but as was mentioned, she had to use a shorter glass insert due to weight.


Mary Ann spent time at the Institute photographing and studying every angle of this 360 degree piece. It's unique in that visitors can view him from all sides, and Mary Ann wanted her final piece to be the same

This is the interior of the vessel, which was created to accommodate the glass container for the flowers. However, later in the process, this opening was filled with sturdy floral foam to fit a smaller vase. The original larger vase was too heavy when filled with water, which is essential to keep the flowers alive during the 4-day show.


The heavy duty glue used to attach the panels took up to 48 hours to cure. Then Mary Ann used a grout-like treatment to give the corners of the piece a clean look.

The panels were then each attached to a wooden frame, which was constructed to Mary Ann's specifications by her son-in-law.

Follow Me

The final piece standing next to its inspiration. Mary Ann started referring to it as "My Guy," after hearing the 1964 Mary Wells hit song while working on the project in her studio. She was awarded the People's Choice Award for "Best Floral Interpretation of Artwork." Her creation now resides at her gallery space in the historic Northrup King Building in the renowned Arts District of Northeast Minneapolis. The flowers have been redone in silk replications. Visit Gallery Immagin√© in Room 183 to see this fabulous creation in person!