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Enjoy The Visual Art Of A Spring Flower Arrangement

In the Spring of 2023 Louise and I were excited at the prospect of creating our floral designs to be entered into the NAFAS National Show, which was to be held in the majestic surroundings of Gloucester Cathedral.

 

My Class title was Candles and Canticles, and I began pondering how I would interpret these scriptural hymns in a floral design.

 

My inspiration came from a random conversation with a friend who mentioned she’d been telling her husband of a verse she wanted to have at her funeral. It perhaps sounds a little morbid, as her husband thought, but when she told me the verse, I thought it was really beautiful and it really struck a chord with me.

 

the winter is past; the rains are over and gone.

Flowers appear on the earth;

the season of singing has come


Song of Solomon 12:11-12



Spring Flower Arrangement at Gloucester Cathedral

 

After the years of lockdown and thoughts of spring emerging, this verse seemed rather apt for the time, and was the starting point for my exhibit.

 

I wanted to encapsulate the essence of spring’s arrival after a long, cold winter, creating a warm, radiant, candlelit glow around delicate spring flowers.

 


Creating a floral design composition using cardboard oblong templates and metal vertical bases

With 2 oblong pieces of cardboard and 2 metal vertical poles, I played around with the space in which the flower arrangement would be displayed. How many variations of 2 oblong shapes next to each other could there be! The size of the boards perspective changed looking at the composition both with the naked eye and through a camara lens. I also needed to be sure I was working on surface the same height of the show bench, as this again would change the overall composition. I decided I wanted the back boards to be very upright and square on, and then the flowers/wax and crafts would be able to flow down them.

 Arranging the composition

using cardboard templates


Girl putting together mechanics for a floral art design using recycled glass jars and fibrous sisal plant material

Before I could start on the craft work on the boards (which I was itching to do) I needed to strategically place my 3 water sources. Keeping the floral design foam free I chose to use 3 recycled glass jars to keep my plant material hydrated. These jars were supported by strong wire arms made up of several strands of wire twisted together and at the end fanned out so a wire web could be woven, with one end encase the glass jar one end fitting securely on to the vertical metal pole. The result was a kind if candelabra supporting glass jars.

 

Recycled glass jars for the water source covered with sisal, teased and moulded to represent candles


To be 100% sure of the actual balance of the design I cut a board the size of the exhibit space and drill holes for the metal stands to go through. This meant the weight of the wooden board was on top of metal stands and the rather distracting metal bases were now hidden, creating a clean look to the base of the design.

 

I used lightweight craft foam boards for the decorative back boards and painted both these and the base with a golden yellow. I added sand to the paint to give a rough texture and once dry stippled other yellow shades over the top to add interest.

 


Sisal plant material used for flower arrangement mechanics

With the words of Song of Songs being a big inspiration for the design I wanted to discreetly incorporate the text into the embellished back boards and played with various fonts and opacity, so the words could be read but weren’t too dominant in the overall design. I overlaid the text with amber cellophane with the idea of creating the illusion that the candlelight was illuminating the text. The boards were further adorned with seeds pods (angel wings) painted gold, and dried Amaranthus, and embellished  with decorative aluminium wire coils.


Placing the text in the design 




Craft board embellished with seed pods, amaranthus, bamboo, spring flowers, including ranunculus, gold aluminium wire

The ’candles’ in the designs were created using the fibrous plant material, sisal. Teasing out a mixture of yellow and various green sisal, I then shaped the sisal to create a tube to fit over the glass jar water containers. The sisal can be moulded to shape and then the shape secured sewing in threads of sisal using a craft needle. The sisal candle wraps were embellished with small, dried flowers, angel hair and drips of yellow coloured hot glue, to give the appearance of dripping candle wax.

  

The symphony of vibrant blooms overflowing from the ‘candles’ included orange ranunculus, yellow Ornithogalum (star of Bethlehem) spray roses, yellow Achillea (yarrow) and the delicate Thlaspi (penygrass) I chose to add shades green to the design to represent the Spring and renewal and also added gold represent splendour and opulence.

Aluminium wire covered with wool extends from the backdrop and meanders through the design ensuring the flowers continue throughout the exhibit.

 

As the canticles are sung, smooth, gold bamboo sticks arranged vertically symbolize pipes of music and signing, capturing the poetic nature of the words from Song of Songs.



Spring Flower Arrangement. An exhibit at the NAFAS National Show at Gloucester Cathedral May 2023

There is such a correlation between music and floral design. We think about rhythm, accents, colour, tone in both. They are also both used to celebrate and creating this piece of visual art, in a place of outstanding beauty, that has music ringing in it’s rafters, I hoped to express a celebration of Spring, life and renewal through our radiant flowers.






Delighted to be awarded Third prize at the NAFAS National Show

 

 

Louise and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the National Show in Gloucester, being inspired by many wonderful exhibits, meeting up with our flower friends…… and for me, I had an extra treat to enjoy, being asked to open the fabulous Penno & Price National Flower Demonstration, The Big Flower Night, with my LED hoopdance!



National Flower Demonstration. The Big Flower Night with Penno and Pryce

Penno & Price The Big Flower Night

With Alison Penno and Delyth Price


Debbie Davies LED Hoop dance performer

Ready to open the show with my LED Hoop dance.

Performing to Carol of the Bells with Lindsey Stirling


....... and finally, I'm thrilled to have my National Show flower arrangement featured in the Spring Edition of the Flower Arranger Magazine.


The article features the gorgeous ranunculus flower used by myself and Carys Harrison's stunning design in the class, Block and Stone at the National Show.


The Flower Arranger Magazine Spring 2024

The Flower Arranger Magazine Spring 2024

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