My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

WAFA 10th International Flower Show in Boston USA: This Glorious Earth

The management of WAFA (World Association of Flower Arrangers) moves from country to country every three years. During its tenure, the host country organizes an International Seminar, stages a World Flower Show, convenes a General Assembly, and plans various other educational events.
Previous WAFA host countries were Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

WAFA show poster

WAFA Show staging of my Zipper

Delegates from the 32 countries that make up the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) got together at the Seaport World Trade Center to stage over 630 floral art designs and promote conservation in cooperation with the show

The 6 core rules for Flower Shows hosted by the World Association of Flower Arrangers:

  1. An exhibit is made of plant material, with or without accessories, within the space specified in the Show Schedule.
  2. Plant material must predominate over all the other components of the exhibit.
  3. The use of artificial plant material is forbidden unless stated in the show regulations.
  4. Fresh plant material must be in water or water-retaining material unless such material remains turgid throughout the event.
  5. Painted and/or artificially coloured plant material may be used unless otherwise stated in the regulations.
  6. Pre-prepared work must not dominate in the exhibit.

Within these 6 rules each governing body expands and refines the show specific regulations to suit their design philosophy.
Class 11: Zipper

WAFA Show Zippers in progress

Staging was between 6:00 and 12:00, on a backed Pedestal

Height of Back50.8cm
Depth (Space allowed)35.5cm
Viewed and Judged from the front

It is not often that we get to work in a smaller scale. Most of our Competition designs are rather big. It was an exciting challenge for me to make full use of this by using plant material that would not always be possible (or realistic!) in larger designs. I made 100 tiny test tubes covered in rose bark and used just over 300 short rose twigs for the Zipper -that is 14 meters of dried rose stems! I also used the roots of 4 miniature rose plants and 5 stems of clustered orchids to make the small design.

Making the Zipper Orchids

I wove my Zipper from short, dried rose twigs with tiny thorns on them. The delicate "fabric" at the back of the design is woven rose bush roots.

WAFA Floral Art Show Zipper

Class 11: Zipper

WAFA Show Zipper Design Silver Ribbon

Detail of my rose twig Zipper. It took me two hours just to weave the twigs into place.

Zipper design copper and root fabric

Detail of the copper wire and delicate miniature rose plant roots that make up the "fabric"

Zipper design root and copper wire fabric

Looking through the root "fabric".

Zipper Design Orchids in tiny test tubes

I used both red Aranthera and Aranda orchids in my design. Each orchid floret is in a tiny test tube (filled with water) that I covered with rose stem bark to mimic the rose stem twigs used to make the Zipper. If you look carefully you will be able to see all those thorns!

WAFA Floral Art Show 2nd place in Zipper

Zipper design from the front

With over 630 flower designs- in 30 classes, 12 lectures, numerous design demonstrations (including a presentation by European Grand Masters Gregor Lersch, Germany; Alison Bradley, Scotland; Brigitte Auzely, France; Carles Jubany Fontanillas, Spain; Niels van Hemert, Holland) and dozens of national and international exhibitions, the 2011 International Flower Show was one of the largest floral conventions in the US and featured some of the most influential designers of today.

Floral Art Shows and Competitions are fantastic platforms on which to showcase (and be inspired by) what is on the forefront in design today. It is to flower arranging what runway shows are to fashion- an undiluted taste of things to come.It is unbelievably inspirational to be part of a large crowd of talented designers working hard to accomplish absolute beauty. And of course, to be able to represent your country in an International Show is the greatest privilege.

Congratulations to everyone involved. What a wonderful experience! For more pictures of our work visit or follow the link in my side bar.

Christine de Beer at her Zipper Design at the 10th World show of WAFA in Boston

I won a Silver Award and was placed Second in my class.

I was also placed runner up to The Most Creative Design on show Award.

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19 June 2011 Making wire roots for the "fabric" at the back of the design

I wanted a delicate, yet rough "fabric" to back my edgy Zipper. Something that will stand up to the thorns and rose twigs but not over power them. It definitely had to...

29 June 2011 Twig Zipper

I wanted my Zipper to be "edgy" rather than "peaceful", so using bamboo or reeds or willow would not be appropriate.

4 January 2011 Drinking straw "test tubes"

When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.

29 June 2011 Cover the drinking straw test tube with bark

I made about 100 rose stem test tubes for my Zipper Design

Related Designs

4 November 2015 Delicate

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17 February 2016 Where would you put it!?!

Tie a twig armature enclosure for fresh flowers

23 March 2016 Celebrate!

A closer look at my design at the 20th anniversary of Canada Blooms and The Toronto Flower Show

8 June 2016 When the wind whisper

Glue a fantasy forest from Popsicle sticks, grape vine tendrils and willow tips

10 May 2017 About a line

Skewer and line up leaves to create an armature

18 May 2022 Because Why

Adding the smallest details to absolutely make the design.