Rittners School Of Floral Design
In Boston Presents....
Make An Intermediate Contemporary Vase Arrangement
Most American flower shops today are capable of doing both traditional
as well as contemporary floral art.
Traditional floral designing
is characterized by having greater quantities of flowers, more foliage,
etc. Contemporary floral art generally uses less materials, but makes
greater use of space. Contemporary floral design tends to mix unusual
combinations of things together. It has the feeling of Oriental style
floral designing, yet it is distinctively Western.
This is a good example of a contemporary floral design, at the
intermediate level of complexity. It uses a rather interesting mixture
of both everyday flowers and unusual dried materials. Try it!! I think
you will find it an interesting creative exercise!
What You Will Need
1/2 Bunch of Miniature Carnations
A Little Statice
Sabel Palm Leaves
3 Sea Grape Leaves
A Lotus Pod
Small Dried Pods
Novelty Artificial Bird
We start this design by placing our piece
of foam into a container. The
base that we are using is approx. one foot tall. We first fill the container
to the brim with scraps of
foam, and then using specialized florist tape, attach foam to the top
of the base.
We use some of our baker fern to completely cover the top and
the sides of the foam with foliage. It is easier to get this done early
in our construction, then it will be later after our other materials
have been placed.
We want to establish height in the design. Therefore we place a cluster
of our sabel palm leaves into the rear center of the foam, as shown in
You can see from the start that the sabel palm immediately creates
impact in the design. There are some designers who insist that one must
follow the rule of creating a height that is 1.5X the height or width of
the container. Contemporary floral artists tend to break the rule,
and extend the height of designs even higher. While we have used sabel palm
here any tall or branchy material would also work quite well.
to fill in the stucture of the design a bit. Note the three giant
leaves that have been placed in the design.These are called sea grape
leaves. They are brought in from the Carribean and painted all kinds of colors.
The folks who import these, glue heavy wire to them, so that they are
easy to work into your floral designs.
Place two to the left of the design slightly to the side of the sabel
palm. The third sea grape leaf is placed coming out to the right of the base of the unit.
Notice that with just three items we have filled a very large area.
The purple pod placed into the center of the design is a lotus pod.
Lotus pods have long been a favorite dried material used by designers.
Like the sea grape leaves and sabel palm the lotus pod has been dyed, and
a stem of wire attached. You can pick up these various dried materials
from your local florist. The overall shape of the design to this point
looks something like an L.
Next lets start to add some of our flowers. Place two carnations as
shown in the picture.
more carnations, we can work our flowers down the left side of the design,
gradually going out towards the left, creating a section of
the design that angles down slightly towards
the table. Some of the carnations
are placed in between the sea grape leaves. Notice how the shape of the design
appears more like an upside down T.
Carnations are a good choice in this design. The orange color works well
with the sandy color of the sabel palm and sea grape leaves. The size of
the flower forms a good proportion with the other materials and creates
a definite visual statement. The purple lotus pod
creates good contrast and a focal point.
Still the design isn't ready for prime time! We have a lot of weight
on the left side of the design, but need more for the right side.
pods are placed into the design. Two round and white ones called bell
cups are placed, one in the center of the design just above the lotus pod,
the other going out to the left on the baseline of the design.
A little bird is placed on top of the lotus pod with a little spanish
moss forming its nest.
A line of
four pods is placed working towards the right side of the design.
Miniature carnations are placed as shown in the picture to create a balance
the right and left sides of the design.
A few pieces of statice provide variety and contrast of texture
through the arrangement.
This is a design meant to be viewed on one side. It would be very
effective in an entry hall, or on a side table. Although we used
carnations in this example, we could vary the mood and price of the
design by substituting yarrow, roses, gerbera or lilies. In
place of the miniature carnations, consider the use of button poms,
starburst poms, dendrobium orchids, or sweetheart roses.
We hope that you really enjoyed this brief floral design lesson. At
Rittners Floral School in Boston we provide
floral design instruction that includes a wide range of different
styles and techniques. Please come and take one of our hands-on
Rittners Floral Education Center
returns you to our Floral Education Center.
Your Webmaster is Dr. Steve Rittner, who may be reached at Stevrt@tiac.net.
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and may not be reproduced, or used for any commercial purposes.