Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
A birch bark spiral wrap to cradle floral details in a wine glass
Book readers: if you really want to level up on this design and be even more mindful of the bark placement turn to page 276 of my book where I tell you about crafting floral illusions. For more information about my book:
The Effortless Floral Craftsman
Measure out the birch bark.
Cut the bark into long strips.
Soak the bark overnight in warm water.
To curl the bark strips I am using clips to temporarily keep it all together.
I am not yet using glue because I might want to add in a few more strips depending on how tightly I can roll the bark. I am telling you a bit more about this in our email this week. If you are not yet receiving a weekly bonus tip email from me you can sign up below this post.
Clip the bark together in one long strip.
Roll the strip from one end to the middle and from the other end to the middle. You want the roll to look continuous so if you roll the one end over, finish the other end to the mirror image.
You might want to practice this on a piece of wire first. To get you started see the Tutorial linked below. Once you get it perfectly right with easy to manipulate wire, you can try to get it imperfectly right with wobbly and unpredictable bark strips.
Keep the bark spirals firmly together so that they dry in this shape...
The easiest way is to slip the spirals into a vase so that it is held firmly in place while the bark dries overnight.
Once dry the curls will now be set into the bark.
Set the spirals on your design table and carefully remove the clips. Reach into the spiral and carefully glue the strips together with a small drop of hot glue. This is just to make it easier for you to work without the strip coming undone.
The tighter curled spirals are the most important to keep in place. You can easily manipulate more bark strips to spiral over the middle section even without soaking them but these outside edges should be treated with care.
The spiral will release slightly once you undo the clips but because there is already a curl there you can even exaggerate it at this point. Lift the end pieces of the spiral out and roll them tighter if possible. Secure the spiral with a small drop of hot glue.
Work from both ends. Lift the spiral out and and secure the spiral in place with hot glue.
Be mindful of the size of spiral. We are using a wine glass as a budvase... water source... and display stand in one.
Fit the spirals flanking a wine glass with a spiral on each side.
If you are happy with the way the two spirals come together over the glass continue to secure the spirals with hot glue all around the glass. If the strips are rolled quite tightly you might want to cut a few more strips of birch bark to add into the spiral. Simply undo the glue at a joint, insert the new strip and continue to follow the spiral by rolling the new strip to match. Glue it to the other end to complete the spiral.
The birch bark shape is now ready to design with.
Cover the glass with paper to keep it clean. Secure the paper towel with tape so that you can turn the glass to work without opening the cover.
Thin some wood glue with water...
Paint the bark with the thinned glue...
Sprinkle in some artificial snow on the bark shape.
You can even use the artificial snow to conceal some imperfections where the glue pulled while drying
But mostly focus on adding snow where snow would naturally fall... again see our email this week.
Set the bark shape aside for the glue to dry completely.
Fill the glass with water.
Combine two anthurium flowers to mirror the birch bark spiral ends.
Slip the flowers into the water filled glass to remain hydrated.
Add in rosary vine stems...
Design Note: Cut away the lowest two set of leaves from the rosary vine. This way you can even root the stems in the water. No design room should be without a good supply of rosary vines, right?
Drape the vines around the bark shape.
Add in a few willow twigs...
Follow the bark shape and secure the twigs in place with a small drop of hot glue.
Hot glue is stronger than floral glue... and the twigs will want to let go so secure them carefully and in more than one place.
Make sure all the design elements interact with each other to create a unit.
Top up the water. I use a syringe with a tube to do this.
You can find the detailed Tutorial for how to make the syringe below this post
And finish the design with a few dew drop crystals to add sparkle.
The cage spirals to form a basket that wrap around the plump ripe berries (or you can slip in a flower) to hang as connections between the twigs.
Simple and natural floral accessory for a sherry glass
Kalanchoe flowers last weeks without a water source and is the perfect way to dress up a bark and silver bell sleigh
A beautiful pinecone dressed up for Christmas.
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I have always been fascinated, as a designer, by the idea that there is a point when extremes or direct contrasts flip into its opposite.
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Craft a bark sleigh that will last for weeks.
This is my article that I wrote for the Mother's Day Design Issue of Canadian Florist Magazine
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