My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Ripping Flax

After harvesting the flax leaves set them aside to dehydrate slightly. If you condition them in water they will be very moist when ripped. I prefer not to let them dehydrate in full sun because it causes the leaves to roll up making it harder to pull through the Kenzan teeth.

How to rip Flax

Wipe the leaf clean and cut the hard stem away. Cut into thin strips.

Ripping Flax

Place the Kenzan (pin cushion) on the edge of your working surface. With the palm of your hand press the lower end of the leaf to catch in the teeth.

Kenzan and Flax

Kenzan and Flax

Drag the leaf down and through the nails.

The ripped sections will first dry to a beautiful grass green, then a grey green and later a stone green. I have also bleached my flax strips to a sand colour for my Forest Experience design.

Clean your Kenzan regularly to remove all plant material.
This will prevent bacterial growth in future designs

Cleaning a Kenzan

Clean the Kenzan with a wooden skewer

Or...

Stocking

Dress the Kenzan with an old stocking before you rip the Flax and simply lift away the left over fibers.

Other ideas to use ripped Flax:

Cover a test tube with Flax

Cover a test tube with Flax

Beaded Flax string

Beaded Flax string

Weave thin strips of Flax and beaded wire together and allow to air dry.

To permanently curl Flax strips:

Permanently curling Flax

Wrap the Flax fibers tightly around a paper tube and secure with a hair pin. Set aside to air dry.

Curled Flax

Loosen up the curls to create a light veil of fibers.

Or...

Flax gathered - Inspired by Nature

Secure the fibers from the roll in a bunch and use them as a "pony tail".

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Favourite Flowers

Phormium

Flax, New Zealand flax

Typha

Cattail, graceful, ribbon grass

Related Designs

14 January 2011 Inspired by Nature

Flax leaves are ripped with a kenzan and wrapped with copper wire and small blue beads to create a rope to weave into a delicate spider web.

18 March 2011 SHAPE

Chrysanthemum Hourglass

2 April 2011 Easter Parade Demonstration and Accessory Workshop

Advanced level Workshop: For my Easter Parade Demonstration I made 6 hand-tied designs within armatures. The concept was to pick up the design while demonstrating and to literally...

10 August 2011 Pleated Pleasure

Pleats are accordion like folds of equal width in alternating opposite directions in any kind of fabric. I absolutely love the tight buds of Allium and they represent the...

12 April 2011 Forest Experience

This was a Flower Fantasy Competition Design staged by the Helderberg Flower Club, Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers

19 October 2011 In an Oriental Manner

I wanted my parasol design to be thoroughly me, and thoroughly contemporary yet respectful of the guiding rules and methods shared by the different schools of Ikebana.

16 May 2012 On the first warm day in May

A ripped flax, Ranunculus and Mikado Reed drop shaped nest

19 June 2012 Designing a Feeling

The emotions your designs inspire give real meaning to your work. My article in the Canadian Florist Magazine

26 June 2012 Diamond Jubilee Waterfall

To commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the 20th Anniversary of Friends of Government House Gardens Society a Horticultural event was hosted in the gardens and...

7 September 2012 Just Right! Floral Art demonstration: Own It!

My fourth design in my demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society meeting

10 September 2012 Tying the knot

Gypsophilla design with Celtic love knots featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

18 September 2012 Tying the knot and loosening those curls

Romantic rose centerpiece with just a bit of an edge featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

6 November 2012 Mr. Stalk, the Seriously Terrifying Scarecrow, on his Day Off

An easy going design of ripped grass and calla lilies. But look a bit closer. See if you can find Mr. Stalk relaxing somewhere between the blades of grass.

4 December 2012 'Tis the Season

My article looking at contrasts and 6 winter lantern designs featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

24 December 2012 Please have snow… and presents under the tree

Wire a Tiny Twig Treasure Trunk for small Christmas gifts

14 January 2013 It's High Time for Tea: from craft to art, taking a delicious floral journey with weaving techniques

This was the first two designs for my Floral Art and craft demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging club

27 February 2013 Just Meshing About

create a mesh to drape over the design to create a soft veil.

27 March 2013 In one basket

Weave a nest for an Easter design

1 May 2013 An invisible line to cross

Weave a strip to slip around a candle

16 May 2013 Natural, naturally

Weave a armature to rest a lily on

5 June 2013 Just not Flowers!

My article and woven ring-box design featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine

3 July 2013 Of trust… and belief… and stars…

Weave and wrap and twirl and knot a summer floral nest

26 June 2013 All it needed

Clean, simple and restrained elegance: a single jasmine stem in a wine glass. All it needed was just a few extra blades of grass to tie it all together. And wings, of course!

23 October 2013 Their work well done

String Autumn leaves to fall down in a design

20 November 2013 Excogitate

Ornamental cucumbers and air plants, with just a touch of green.

12 February 2014 Easy does it

Rip foliage to sprinkle as a light as air flower frog

19 February 2014 Come on Over

Weave an open foliage flower frog

23 April 2014 Bound to Keep

Weave and tie a decorative catcher to suspend flowers

30 April 2014 Scattered

Scatter some dried grass to make a floral armature

28 May 2014 Be Silent And Listen

Lash a few bamboo pieces together to create a scaffold armature

4 June 2014 All white, just not quite

My article and woven ring basket design featured in the summer issue of <strong>DIY Weddings Magazine</strong>

7 January 2015 Any Which Way

Using a traditional Ikabana Kenzan to place flowers in a shallow container

18 May 2016 Because I think I am making Progress

Create a floral ceiling

25 May 2016 Half the Fun

Cut a cabbage to create a design platform

1 June 2016 The ties that Bind

Bind a lily to create a trumpet shape as it opens

20 July 2016 A Shade of Summer

Twist and weave a lily grass summer hat

24 August 2016 Details

Glue twigs to create a vase shaped armature

21 June 2017 Playing Favourites

A quick and easy Kenzan design

23 August 2017 Almost is still not quite

Weave just a hint of the Autumn to come

13 September 2017 Around again

Tape a grid at the edge of a container

22 November 2017 How do squirrels Cache a tree?

Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.

7 March 2018 Twist of its own

... a quick an easy design. Curl a few flax leaves to frame orchids

6 June 2018 Hi-Lo

Perfect stems, perfect flowers. Needs nothing more.

20 June 2018 A Bundle of Pretty

A dried bundle of ripped flax hides a secret water source for the orchids

8 August 2018 On the net

Knot a net to rest short stem orchids on.

29 August 2018 It’s not that it is inexpensive… it’s priceless!

Yes, this Coil slip on sandals design is in my book: the effortless floral craftsman, a floral crafter’s guide to crafting with nature ... it is also the first design from the...

7 November 2018 Grab your party mittens, flower buds… it’s Book Launch Day!

Celebrating my book launch by knotting floral mittens using the design Tutorial from my book and the template from the free gift template booklet.

7 November 2018 Book Launch Day!

Oh yes! Today is officially my book launch day!

20 March 2019 It’s all ===> right

Hang a dangling eggshell in a Spring blossom design.

19 June 2019 Club together

Last Wednesday I had such a flowery fun evening teaching a collaborative floral carpet workshop focusing on braiding and weaving ideas from my book the effortless floral craftsman...

19 June 2019 Magic Flying Floral Carpet Ride -Collaborative Workshop

Some picture highlights from our collaborative workshop that I taught focusing on braiding and weaving techniques to create a floral carpet design.

21 August 2019 All in one pod

Fold open a lily bud to conceal a clever little BoutStix floral magnet for an unusual corsage.

28 August 2019 But... what are you Like?

A fun design... with a hula skirt (...for the cool summer breeze to arrange and rearrange)