Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
After harvesting the flax leaves set them aside to dehydrate slightly. If you condition them in water they will be very moist when ripped. I prefer not to let them dehydrate in full sun because it causes the leaves to roll up making it harder to pull through the Kenzan teeth.
Wipe the leaf clean and cut the hard stem away. Cut into thin strips.
Place the Kenzan (pin cushion) on the edge of your working surface. With the palm of your hand press the lower end of the leaf to catch in the teeth.
Kenzan and Flax
Drag the leaf down and through the nails.
The ripped sections will first dry to a beautiful grass green, then a grey green and later a stone green. I have also bleached my flax strips to a sand colour for my Forest Experience design.
Clean your Kenzan regularly to remove all plant material.
This will prevent bacterial growth in future designs
Clean the Kenzan with a wooden skewer
Dress the Kenzan with an old stocking before you rip the Flax and simply lift away the left over fibers.
Other ideas to use ripped Flax:
Cover a test tube with Flax
Beaded Flax string
Weave thin strips of Flax and beaded wire together and allow to air dry.
To permanently curl Flax strips:
Wrap the Flax fibers tightly around a paper tube and secure with a hair pin. Set aside to air dry.
Loosen up the curls to create a light veil of fibers.
Secure the fibers from the roll in a bunch and use them as a "pony tail".
Flax leaves are ripped with a kenzan and wrapped with copper wire and small blue beads to create a rope to weave into a delicate spider web.
Advanced level Workshop: For my Easter Parade Demonstration I made 6 hand-tied designs within armatures. The concept was to pick up the design while demonstrating and to literally...
Pleats are accordion like folds of equal width in alternating opposite directions in any kind of fabric. I absolutely love the tight buds of Allium and they represent the...
This was a Flower Fantasy Competition Design staged by the Helderberg Flower Club, Western Cape Association of Flower Arrangers
I wanted my parasol design to be thoroughly me, and thoroughly contemporary yet respectful of the guiding rules and methods shared by the different schools of Ikebana.
The emotions your designs inspire give real meaning to your work. My article in the Canadian Florist Magazine
To commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and the 20th Anniversary of Friends of Government House Gardens Society a Horticultural event was hosted in the gardens and...
My fourth design in my demonstration at the BC Floral Art Society meeting
Gypsophilla design with Celtic love knots featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine
Romantic rose centerpiece with just a bit of an edge featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine
An easy going design of ripped grass and calla lilies. But look a bit closer. See if you can find Mr. Stalk relaxing somewhere between the blades of grass.
My article looking at contrasts and 6 winter lantern designs featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine
Wire a Tiny Twig Treasure Trunk for small Christmas gifts
This was the first two designs for my Floral Art and craft demonstration at The Capilano Flower Arranging club
My article and woven ring-box design featured in the DIY Wedding Magazine
Clean, simple and restrained elegance: a single jasmine stem in a wine glass. All it needed was just a few extra blades of grass to tie it all together. And wings, of course!
My article and woven ring basket design featured in the summer issue of DIY Weddings Magazine
Using a traditional Ikabana Kenzan to place flowers in a shallow container
Hoard a few acorns in the fork of a twig to show off a single oncidium orchid.
A dried bundle of ripped flax hides a secret water source for the orchids
Yes, this Coil slip on sandals design is in my book: the effortless floral craftsman, a floral crafter’s guide to crafting with nature ... it is also the first design from the...
Celebrating my book launch by knotting floral mittens using the design Tutorial from my book and the template from the free gift template booklet.
Last Wednesday I had such a flowery fun evening teaching a collaborative floral carpet workshop focusing on braiding and weaving ideas from my book the effortless floral craftsman...
Some picture highlights from our collaborative workshop that I taught focusing on braiding and weaving techniques to create a floral carpet design.
Fold open a lily bud to conceal a clever little BoutStix floral magnet for an unusual corsage.
A fun design... with a hula skirt (...for the cool summer breeze to arrange and rearrange)
A bit of a wrong way round pretty Easter design. Put the basket weave inside the egg instead of putting the eggs in a basket.