Master floral designer Lana Bates was the teacher for the FASG Boston Floral Tea Party in early November. Originally from Russia, Ms Bates developed her international reputation as a designer in the UK, and recently relocated to the South of France.
Headquarters for the workshop was the Taj Hotel, the former Ritz-Carlton, facing the Boston Common at the top of Newbury Street. The group had the use of the entire floor giving lots of room for flowers, tables, a lecture area and the Buy Design shop.
The Cornus stems were lined side by side with the tops matching. The toughest, thickest part of the lower stem was removed. First, a doubled length of 24 gauge wire is worked around and between all the stems, with a short twist between each. Then, working with the stems in pairs they are wired together: 1 & 2; 3 & 4; 5 & 6, etc. staggering the placement of the pairs, then repeating to gather up 2 & 3; 4 & 5, etc.
The result as you can see on this worktable, is a structure of very flexible line material. There was a choice of the plaster of Paris vase/structure (we, helpers, made these in advance) or a low rectangular vase.
One was allowed to choose any plant material to put with the structure, which here, was attached to three Cornus stems embedded in the plaster. To enable the extreme bend, the structure was additionally wire from side to side. After it really dried out, that could be removed. The structure can be used over again.
The Cornus structure in this vase opened up after the pink orchids with a wide framework for the white Dendrobium, while the ends of the piece are detailed with a pink and white group of callas, Hypericum and a few orchid flowers.
Isn’t it a pleasure to see the many ideas that emerge from the lesson?