Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Nuts and Bolts of Floral Art Mechanics
- 22 February 2012
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Demonstration, workshop and evaluation at the Floral Trends Design Group Meeting, Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers, South Africa.
The South African Flower Union is a founder member of the World Association of Flower Arrangers
Mechanics are the things that hold the plant material we use in place and fed with water.
Visiting South Africa, you quickly learn a phrase that sums up an inventive spirit: "a good farmer makes a plan" (in Afrikaans - 'n boer maak 'n plan). Another way to capture the meaning would be "make a plan with what you have".
It is a trait that can serve every florist. When faced with obstacles, improvise. Find a way, invent creatively and use the resources at hand to create unusual solutions.
With this can-make-a-plan attitude that we tackled our Floral Trends Design Group meeting looking at Floral Art Mechanics from a New/Old perspective.
I used bale wire as my main mechanics in my evaluation design because it is such a staple in South African creative endeavours- used to make everything from wire toy cars for children to beaded wire home accessories.
The wire is covered with wild field grass using a combination between the technique used by farmers to tie bales of wheat and traditional African coiled grass carpets.
As a water source for the Anthuriums I used water filled metallic party balloons rolled and tied to the coiled armature
Our work was evaluated by three judges from the Western Cape Floral Art Judges’ Panel:
82% Marietjie de la Bat (Chairlady)
90% Kim Zimmerman (Secretary and chairlady of the Floral Trends Design Group)
87% Pam Harris (Treasurer and fantastic Floral Art Teacher)
The Ribbon System: Gold Ribbon award plus 1 star
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Connect grass covered wire rings with short reed sections to create a natural looking Floral Art armature
A water balloon can be a flexible and durable water source for plant material
My article and Willow Crown design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine