My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Nuts and Bolts of Floral Art Mechanics

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

Innovative floral art mechanics

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".

Inventive Floral Art mechanics made of wire and grass coils.

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.

The wire coils are covered with wild field grass.

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 coils are covered with wild field grass.

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.

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:

My results:
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)
Average: 86%
The Ribbon System: Gold Ribbon award plus 1 star

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


22 February 2012 Coiled Grass Armature

Connect grass covered wire rings with short reed sections to create a natural looking Floral Art armature

22 February 2012 Party Balloon water source for flowers

A water balloon can be a flexible and durable water source for plant material

Favourite Flowers


Anthurium, Tailflower, painters palette, Flamingo flower

Related Designs

21 October 2015 Watch the leaves turn

Roll autumn leaves to create a wreath

24 February 2016 How to make an early Spring

Roll and set willow twigs into a spring

25 May 2016 Half the Fun

Cut a cabbage to create a design platform

29 June 2016 Make the design

Weave a reed cradle to suspend orchids from

7 September 2016 You are all invited!

My article and Willow Crown design featured in DIY Weddings Magazine

12 July 2017 Sparkler

A radiating twig design

27 September 2017 As tendrils tend to do

Curl a wreath with tendrils to create a twig-pumpkin