Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
If you polish a dull surface long enough it gets a high sheen or in nature a willow twig, pliable and green in spring dries to a redish brown branch that snaps when you try to bend it in winter.
Of course there are many options between dull and sheen and pliable and rigid and that is the study of contrasts.
When designing with contrasts it is valuable to establish just where the story you want to portray in your design lies on this line of contrasts that connects the two extremes.
For me, my design tells the story of late autumn. The berries are plump and red, being harvested in copper basket cages. The twigs have lost their foliage but there are still hints of the past summer in the over grown cascading grass and arum lilies. There is a chill in the air that hints at the cold blue winter to come.
I tried to explore as many direct contrasts as possible without causing my design to lose all harmony- which is also in direct contrast to. contrasts
Dried twigs and green grass Open spiral and closed spiral Green and red Orange and blue Plant material and wire Straight and curve Warm and cold Sharp and blunt Active and passive Dynamic and static Natural and stylized Floating and tied Shiny and matt Full and sparse High and low Heavy and light Smooth and rough Big and small Vertical and horizontal Long and short Pointing up and cascading down
Lastly, in direct contrast to what you would expect of flowers that naturally grow in South African wetlands: Arum lilies are one of the few flowers included as a specific example of an exception in the Fresh plant material must be in water or water-retaining material unless such material remains turgid throughout the event rule in WAFA floral art competitions. Arum lilies will remain turgid, meaning they will last out of water for the duration of an average show.
The cage spirals to form a basket that wrap around the plump ripe berries (or you can slip in a flower) to hang as connections between the twigs.
Even long nose pliers without grooves still damage soft aluminum wire. Pad the pliers with a plaster.
Follow the flower's natural curve but you can also curve only sections to create an elegant crescent or a curve at the tip of the stem
My article and a floral panel design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine
A closer look at my design at the 20th anniversary of Canada Blooms and The Toronto Flower Show
Place a water tube at an angle in lumber so that the Zantedeschia float just above the base to show off the delicate grass snippets scattered up the stem
Tucked into the box with every advance copy of the book, the effortless floral craftsman is a packet of clips. This design and Tutorial is a bit of inspiration... what will you...