Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman
Take your time to craft a Bulrush Dial Armature
To help me guide my armature shape I placed a large container on my working surface with a smaller, slightly higher container inside that.
Design tip: This is just what I had on hand. You can use any container- even no container if you want. It just works easier to build on some guide and have the middle point slightly lifted.
Cut the dried bulrush into sections.
Glue the end sections to radiate out from the middle point.
Make sure to glue the reeds to reeds and not to the container so that it is easier to remove.
With every reed extend it slightly to cover all the way around the container.
Once you have a basic layer go around again to fill in the gaps.
As a general guide try to glue each section in three places to create a secure armature.
Gently lift the armature from the container to see if you need any support anywhere or to gently remove any stuck pieces that accidentally got glued to the container.
Add a few more support sections just to make sure it is secure enough to be picked up.
Add the dried seed heads as a final layer...
But be super careful... this sausage-shaped spike is filled with minute seeds, attached to fine hairs that disintegrate into a cottony fluff from which the seeds disperse by wind... everywhere!
Now some designers swear by spraying the heads with hairspray, others suggest using a stronger fixative like the one used to fix charcoal or pastel sketches all of which I show you in my book (Book readers turn to page 96 where I show you some ideas for Special Grooming Needs). I have even heard of dipping it into wax or varnish. For me, I like the fulness you can only get when it is untreated. So I clean up the design while it looks pretty (I show you how I do this in more detail in our email for the week) and then when it gets messy it is time to part with the design. If you are not yet signed up for the weekly email to read about the bonus tip each week, the sign up is below this post.
and for more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman
Again move all the way around and add the rush sausages to radiate outwards.
Placing some over and some under the reeds and seeds to craft a full armature.
Test the pieces to make sure they are secure.
And add in more reeds where it is not yet secure enough to be picked up.
I am hanging my armature so I hooked some fishing line through the back to suspend it from. But you can easily hook the armature over a nail or even let it rest on the container or stand up in a container.
Add in more reeds to begin your design if you feel something is missing... I added strong vertical and horizontal lines using longer sections of reeds.
Glue in water tubes and fill it with water.
I make both the water tubes and the tube with water so that I can adjust the sizes to my design requirements. See the Tutorials below for more detailed instructions.
Add in the Aquilegia flower so that it remains hydrated...
And also... Let's not rush... is this not one of the most exquisite things you have ever seen!?!
Add in a few jasmine vines...
To complete the design.
When you glue a structure with hot glue there are always a few stray strands of glue stuck all over the design. Blow it away with a hairdryer.
Easy way to fill test tubes and easiest way to remove water from a vase
When you need to keep a tiny stem hydrated this is just what you need.
Build up a design in a shallow container by stacking it by threading the plant material into the teeth of a pin cushion in three levels.
Glue a few twigs to display Autumn flowers and foliage on
This is a great way to use all those bits of twigs and sticks in your design room to make a floral armature
Glue a few wigs to follow the shape of a glass bowl to create a disk armature
A take your time and mindfully craft a pretty design to celebrate the summer solstice- it is officially summer here in Canada.
Cut stems of Gladiolus to place in a radiating summer design.
An Autumn Equinox design that captures the moment before the spectacular colour burst of autumn floats around again