Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate) floral art demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society
- 9 November 2016
- click to send Christine a smile
The concept of this design demonstration is to help the members think bigger when preparing for competition designs. We explored both thinking bigger when you look at the schedule and develop the concept of your design and how to design bigger.
Concept: All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate). I based each design on an interesting chocolate fact
Bigger design: Use the same basic "ingredients" to create larger armatures to fill the backdrop when designing for competitions.
As with any floral art design, the main focus is on the flowers. It is always the flowers that tells the story of your design. Accessories and armatures are there to support the flowers, to frame and highlight, but it is the flowers that conveys the message. And what other flower can tell the story of chocolate better than chocolate cosmos?
If there is an "it" flower right now, it really must be the Chocolate Cosmos. And rightly so. These delicate little flowers are spectacular.
The chocolate cosmos is native to Mexico, where the flower is now extinct in the wild because the seeds are sterile.
The plants are propagated by dividing the tubers and it has been re-introduced in cultivation.
The flowers have a wonderful vanilla and chocolate fragrance that is especially noticeable late in the afternoon.
The armatures are all based on a wreath design, but deconstructed to create something larger and more elaborate. A medley of seasonal grasses, leaves, pods and pumpkins merely accessorize the designs.
Over the next four weeks I will add each of the designs, their concepts and chocolate facts, with related Tutorials.
I began all four of my designs kept upright with Twig Tangles and we discussed the importance of a stable structure as a foundation to a structural design.
Here is a link to have a more detailed look at Floral Art structures, constructions and armatures similar to those used in the demonstration"I found it this way" Design demonstration Floral Art Twig Tangles
The first design: Loosen up!
The armature was made by soaking a dry wreath to make it more pliable and the loosening it up to create more depth.
Grasses are draped over the vine wreath to create an armature for the plant material to nestle in.
The second design: Snipped into sections
Snip the dried vine wreath into large sections to use the dried curve to create a goblet or cup shaped armature
Weave delicate blades of grass between the wreath sections to fill in the cup shape.
Add some flax to add movement and height and to emphasize the chocolate cosmos flowers
Add the chocolate (cosmos) to the cup.
The third design: Another perspective
For the next design I went the opposite direction and instead of opening the wreath to create a large design, I narrowed the inside curve to create a spiral that starts out small and then gets bigger.
The spiral is secured with tiny pegs and the rest of the "chocolate chip cookie" shape is filled out by creating sisal fibers and grasses stiffened into shape with wood glue
Add the plant material to nestle low in the cookie shape
... insert the stems of chocolate cosmos and...
... gently float a few autumn leaves on the armature
I then expanded on this wood glue technique, to finally create an actual wreath design.
Design four: Worth a second look
The last design was this impossibly delicate wreath armature
The armature was made of dried Baby's Breath stems and grasses, glued securely to create a delicate looking armature...
On which I placed the tiny chocolate cosmos buds, still firmly closed, to look scattered like cocoa beans throughout the wreath. I also added autumn leaves and pods
Thank you to the BC Floral Art Society for inviting me to demonstrate at your meeting
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Snip a dried twig wreath to undo the spirals to hang around a glass container
Soak a vine wreath to make it easier to manipulate into an armature deep enough to nestle plant material in
When in doubt, always give your armature three legs. Two legs are simply not enough and four legs will wobble if it is even slightly off balance.
This was the second design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration
This was the third design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration
This was the fourth (and last) design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration
This was the first design I did in my "All things Autumn (by which I mean all things chocolate)" floral art demonstration
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