Holidays: District 45 Ornament

Metals Guild students create ornament for state capitol using native inspiration

Joined by faculty from the School of Art and Design and members of the Metals Guild, President Denise Trauth displays the District 45 ornament.

The Texas State University Metals Guild, comprised of students from the School of Art and Design, was selected to create the 2010 Christmas ornament for Texas House of Representatives District 45. The ornament was presented to President Denise Trauth on Nov. 8 and is now hanging on the Christmas tree at the Capitol in Austin.

“It feels amazing to be able to represent our district, and especially to be able to represent Texas State University,” says Hannah Wilson, a communication design major from San Marcos who worked on the ornament.

The form of the ornament is a tiered sphere created in sterling silver and brass. In the spirit of representing the character of the district, the students used the colorful wildflowers and blossoms of the Texas Hill Country as inspiration for this unique artwork.

District 45 includes the majority of Hays, Caldwell and Blanco Counties. In the ornament, a different flower represents each county. Hays County is represented by the vibrant maroon and gold Indian Blanket (gaillardia pulchlla), which is the official flower of Texas State University. Caldwell County is represented by the watermelon plant’s (Citrullus lanatus) bright yellow blossom. Watermelons are a local favorite and part of the annual Luling Watermelon Thump, now entering its 58th year. Blanco County, represented by the lavender bloom (lavandula spica), is home to the annual Blanco Lavender Festival.

“It was very intense but also very fun to collaborate with everyone in the Metals Guild,” says Sonia Elisa Martinez, president of the Metals Guild and a studio art major from San Antonio. “We had many different concepts and ideas to go off of, and we just went from there.”

According to Austin Roach, a communication design and fine art major from Katy, the project took two weeks to complete.

“It would have taken longer but we broke up the projects,” he says, with multiple students working on the piece at the same time. “It was a complete group effort.”

Other students who worked on the ornament include: Mary Ann Dix, Jason Polasek, Michael O’Neill, Anthony Villanacci, Alyssa Wilson, Adam Grant, Stephanie Leung, Paige Wright, Jennifer Rivas, David Davis, Robert Clawson and Trey Dresner.

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