My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

So many ways to use a Kenzan to hold floral materials

It is difficult to press a branch into the Kenzan needles so that it offers support

It is difficult to press a branch into the Kenzan needles so that it offers support

There are a few options:

Cut the stem at a very sharp angle.

Cut the stem at a very sharp angle. This works really well if you want to position the stem pointing upright.

Cut the stem in a point

The second option is the cut the stem in a point. This gives you more flexibility on how you want to position the stem.

For really hard stems the best option is to cut a portion away

For really hard stems the best option is to cut a portion away so that you do not need to press the needle into the stem itself but can wedge the stem between the needles. Cut straight into the stem and then up the stem to remove the bulk.

My personal preference is to split the stem into quarters. This gives me the most flexibility of how I want to position the stem with the option of adjusting it without having to remove the stem to re-cut it

Give the stem two cuts

Give the stem two cuts as described above

Split the stem cross wise

Split the stem cross-wise

Cut again to split it in a X

Cut again to split it in a X

It is now fairly easy to angle and position the stem as you require

It is now fairly easy to angle and position the stem as you require

Splinting a stem

Placing another stem next to the soft stem and latching it together

Some stems are either too soft or too thin to be spiked into the Kenzan needles. The needles might rip the stems or are just too thick. Create a splint by placing another stem next to the soft stem and latching it together with binding wire or twisting a more flexible stem around the fragile stem so that it naturally stays in place.

Bundling stems

Gather a few stems together and latch with binding wire

When using this stems such as Gypsophila, or grass or straw it is easier to position if you bundle a few stems together so that the Kenzan teeth can support the stems. Gather a few stems together and latch with binding wire

Position the bundle over the needles at the required angle

Position the bundle over the needles at the required angle

Design note: Although in more traditional Moribana designs, the plant material emerges from an exposed surface. You might want the option of covering the Kenzan.

Cover the mechanics with sand

Cover the mechanics with sand, small glass chips or

Cover the mechanics with pebbles

... pebbles

Top up with water to keep the plant material hydrated.

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

Tutorials

22 May 2012 Filling a vase with water without disturbing the design details

Break the water flow when you fill a vase with details in that can move with the stream of water

22 May 2012 Bite and snap a sturdy twig

Break the sturdy twig on the scribe line.

Favourite Flowers

Phragmipedium longifolium

The Long-Leaf Phragmipedium (longifolium means long leaf), Phrag

Related Designs

7 January 2015 Any Which Way

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

1 June 2016 The ties that Bind

Bind a lily to create a trumpet shape as it opens

21 June 2017 Playing Favourites

A quick and easy Kenzan design

15 November 2017 Alchemy

Gently stand leaves upright in a Kenzan

6 June 2018 Hi-Lo

Perfect stems, perfect flowers. Needs nothing more.

17 April 2019 Hopping with Excitement

A hoppingly-fun Spring design for Easter.

12 June 2019 Almost... all over!

Loop a grass veil over a lily stem to create a minimalist summer design.

7 August 2019 Point Out: this is a single bunch of gladiolus!

Cut stems of Gladiolus to place in a radiating summer design.