Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Peg Sunflowers and Quaking Grass in a Kenzan
Position your Kenzan in a shallow container.
Design tip: Try to find an interesting angle... like slightly to the side or to the back rather than right in the middle to display your flowers.
For this design we are using tall stems and heavy stems. Make sure the Kenzan will be secure even when you add a generous amount of stems. It can easily topple over.
Secure the Kenzan to the container using putty. I show you how on page 160 of my book where I show how to use a Kenzan in detail. But to get you started I also have a Tutorial linked below with some information.
For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman
Pour water into the shallow container and make sure the Kenzan is submerged deep enough to keep the flower stems hydrated.
It is really hard to see how deep the water line is so have a look at it from all angles. If you use putty to secure the Kenzan I have a tip for you this week on how to adjust it so that the water level is just right in our Wednesday morning (Vancouver time) email. This email is also a great way for us to connect if you have questions or a comment... or to say hi by replying to the email. If you are not yet receiving your email from me sign up is below this post.
Give your sunflower stem a generous cut and spike it upright into the Kenzan teeth to start the design.
... and I say generous because we are using these stem ends...
Use a bamboo skewer to make a guide hole through the stem...
... that is the exact size to fit the grass stems...
Cut the grass stem at a sharp angle...
And push the grass through the stem with the hole in... and cut the stem straight again.
Design note: I cut the stems straight again (yes, I know we are taught to always cut stems at an angle) because in a shallow container you need as much of the cut stem below the water line as possible so that it remains hydrated. If you add the stems, cut at an angle, they are standing tippy toe and only the smallest part of the stem is below the water with a larger part exposed above the surface. Not a complete disaster with grasses because they dry beautifully anyway but it is good practice to get into the habit of doing this so that when you need it most... it is already part of your design style.
Book readers turn to page 265 to read more.
Peg the stems into the needles of the Kenzan to position the grasses.
Add in all your floral details...
And fill the gaps to conceal the Kenzan with a few more stems.
Finish the design with a few dew drop crystals to add sparkle.
I add my crystals with a corsage pin. See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions.
Temporarily adhere a traditional Ikebana Kenzan or pincushion to a shallow container.
It's sometimes difficult to place a tiny crystal or bead exactly where you want it.
A cool and minimal floral design for summer.
Craft a bottomless vase out of bark so that the floral stem is supported but can still stand in water to remain hydrated.
A single lily flower design dressed up with a grass veil.
Flair open a leathery leaf to craft a frame a single bleeding heart flower on its long stem.
Fanned out Tulips for a snowy winter display... that stays just so.
Spear bunny tail grasses into a Kenzan to create a cozy space to display apricot lemonade cosmos flowers.
Prevent a leaf from ripping or bruising when positioning it in your design.
A bit of Kenzan support for a floating shallow container design
The teeth of a Kenzan (or pin cushion) is rather sharp. Here is a pain free way of pushing down the plant material into the teeth to keep it securely in place.
It's the little sun-washed coloured hints that makes you look again to see if you really saw what you thought you saw... yes! There really are signs of autumn everywhere!
Loop a grass veil over a lily stem to create a minimalist summer design.
Dutch floral designer Pim van den Akker, from Flower Factor invited me to participate in a FloraHolland initiative promoting the versatility of Freesias entitled ...
A bit of a rethink as the season is getting ready to change. How can I give my design idea a fresh twist?
A small design to display those last Spring snippets from your garden...
Whether it’s a solid foot for floating flowers, the tips of new growth or the curve of a dried twig your design needs help to stay upright.
Cut stems of Gladiolus to place in a radiating summer design.