Black and White Redux

Susan DetjensA year ago I posted about “Black and White” (Archives, January 2014) and this year’s snow has inspired me again. A hundred years ago when I was in grade school, our teacher used to bring out large pieces of gray paper, charcoal and chalk and ask us to draw the snow. Snowstorms still remind me of that task but now we are creating with floral design.

Susan DetjensAt its most basic, a single lily is circled by stem dyed black eucalyptus in a silver container. How to make the container is in the Archives — “Plastered”, February 2014.

 Terrain cotton bolls designThis design at Terrain, Westport CT, is made from all dried materials including cotton bolls on their stems and dried and bleached artichokes with the strong fuzzy (botanical term – ha) spires and some other bleached materials – both of which have me stumped.

Susan DetjensA natural cement square container is the base for this asymmetrical design which uses the eucalyptus with roses, mums and lilies. The swoop of the black eucalyptus gives it movement.

Susan DetjensBlack on black on black with striking white lilies creates a sophisticated centerpiece. The circular form is a thick root or branch coiled into a circle about 15” in diameter, nailed together and then painted. The lilies sit in a water filled black kenzan (pin holder) which disappears into the other blacks.

Susan DetjensAnother centerpiece, another time. The form of the ‘wreath’ is more apparent against the wood of the table. Dendrobium orchids and the eucalyptus spray out over the shape.

Susan DetjensA snowy day captured in this diagonal design of dusty miller, tulips, seeded eucalyptus, mums, lilies and hydrangea. The wonderful container (rather hidden) is a work of art on its own with a hand-coiled shape and a subtle glaze, accented near the top with a decorative glaze of celadon green.

Susan DetjensIt’s fun to put these subtle shades of gray and white together. The texture becomes so important. Look at how those stamens stand out in the photo.


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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