Due to the poppylarity of my home grown opium here’s a stalk-by-stalk guide to making them yourself. I did talk about making them in the previous post but for our hobby cousins who don’t have English as their first language, like say the Americans, a photo how-to demolishes any linguistic barriers. Above is a pin and you’ll need around one hundred of these for a small field. It’s nickel plated brass which means it won’t rust. They’re made in Poland for the Hemline range and you’ll probably want them in various lengths so your field doesn’t look like a row of Guardsmen on parade. The sequins and beads you’ll need should also be available from your local haberdashers.
Then you have to bend, kink and manipulate the pin to give it a more organic look. You can do this with strong fingers but a small pair of pliers make it both quicker and easier. I did leave a lot straight on my first field, but I think these look better. Be careful though as around one percent of these pins snap, which is also why you do this bending first.
Then slip on a small glass bead, hold it near the sharp end and add a tiny dob of superglue under the pinhead. Slip the bead up to under the pinhead, hold briefly and then onto the next one.
However if you want flowering poppies you glue on a concave sequin before the bead and glue it in place. Again it’s quicker to slip the sequin on, hold it near the sharp end, apply glue and then slip it up the shaft.
Then slip the bead on to the shaft, apply superglue to just under the sequin and put the bead in place.Once dried apply a couple of rings of superglue around the shaft. Typically I do a small one near the top, and a broader one at the bottom. Then apply your flock, preferably a long fibre one. Irregularity is key in replicating nature so don’t worry if some have very little flock and some a lot – if all else fails the sparse ones can always go in the middle of the field.
Repeat the above steps a few times and then you can spray them en masse. The flowering ones will need to have the flowers painted by hand. Bear in mind how Opium poppies are not red like the domesticated variety seen in Europe, They’re typically pale pink. For making into fields I attach thin strips of cork to an MDF base, add filler to make it look more like a field, and then both glue and stab the pins into the cork. Try to vary both the angle and spacing so it look more agriculturally pleasing.
Should you like the look of them, but don’t fancy making them I could be persuaded to make some for you, but they won’t be cheap.