Best Custom Terrariums (2012)


Color-bursting succulents, pebbles and wood bark are peppered with Ping-Pong games, nude massages and zombie attacks in the glass-enclosed worlds that artist and designer Bianca Quilez D'Amico creates in terrarium form. "I really love the collaborative process of working with people. I'll work off an anecdote or a story they give me," she says, "and create a way for them to voice a fantasy." Terriplanty is the name of the online shop Quilez D'Amico started three years ago to sell her artfully composed, made-to-order terrariums. With an expert hand at detail, a wry wit and a God-given green thumb, Quilez D'Amico combines craftiness with punk-rock soul. "I use succulents mostly, sometimes ferns, and as far as the figures go, I'm really into nudity, and humor — the weirder, the better." She's done terrariums for weddings, birthdays and countless other occasions: "One woman wanted a scene with her dancing, naked and pregnant, onstage next to her DJ-ing husband at Coachella, with someone projectile vomiting in the crowd — that terrarium was really fun to put together."

—Wendy Gilmartin


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