Unlike last year when I was in Philadelphia for the whole week, I saw only one day of floral design this year. Happily it was a wonderful day of entries in imaginatively named classes. The spaces complemented the themes with Pedestal Classes called Double Take, requiring the use of two pedestals. Medium niches explored the possibilities of Special Effects while miniature designs were specific to Cinematography.
Double Take – Beam Me Up called for a parallel design. This masterpiece of color, texture and form won the class. Huge brightly colored anthuriums, orchids and manipulated midolino sticks (forming the extravagant loops and curves) created this joyous design. Notice how the two required pedestals were used on their sides as a base.
A close-up of the gorgeous detail shows the meticulous crafting of the midolino looping. All the water sources were tubes also finely wrapped in wire or yarn. The structure inside each was a column of fine mesh hardware cloth.
Second place in Double Take was earned by this towering design of stately calla lilies. Notice how the pedestals are used slightly apart, linked by a base of copper, which looks like an upside down tray. It was interesting that Philadelphia used named design styles but did not define them for the exhibitor in the schedule.
Glass containers and stepped pedestals were the building blocks of this third place parallel design. There was a huge variety of material in the cylinders: Aspidistra, Berzilia, Birch, Craspedia, Echeveria, Galax, Leucadendron, and Pin-cushion protea.
Delphinium, red twig dogwood, dendrobium orchids and pussy willow have been used to create this HM design in Double Take. The pedestals have been put on their sides and stacked at angles. If you scroll back through and look at the pedestal use, you’ll find it fascinating that the designers chose four distinct ways of placing them to implement their designs.
The Movie Poster class occupied the largest space in Floral Design: 8’ x 8’ x 10’ back wall. The designer may use one or two pedestals provided by the show, and must supply their own movie poster. Wednesday’s class was Movie Poster: Westerns. This dramatically, striking design for “Django”, using totem-like densely layered vertical aspidistra leaves, won the class, Best of the Day and Finest Flower Arrangement in the Show! Congrats CM!
I’m not sure how this Mae West poster was a Western movie, but I loved the audacious (just like Mae) use of entire width of the space with an dramatic design of undulating (Mae again) willow and creamy blushing pink anthurium. However, I’m sure Mae never blushed in her life!!
Of all the four posters, I thought this was the most challenging to interpret. The Mae and Django posters each have an iconic image as inspiration, while Butch screams bicycle even if it wasn’t in the poster. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, even with Clint Eastwood, was a tough image. The judges were impressed by “the overall colors and textures which reflect the western theme”.
Medium niche Special Effects: Pyrotechnics was won by this dramatic design of bird of paradise, palmetto and wisteria. I kept coming back to look at this design as it seemed to push the envelope in regard to proportion and scale. Surely the three kinds of plant material were in scale with each other. Proportionately to the size of the niche, however, a great tension was achieved by the design, hovering at the edge of being out of proportion. Pyrotechnics indeed, a brilliant performance.
Miniature designs (not more than 5” in any dimension) are always stellar at Philadelphia. Their niches allow for hanging the design or projecting them from the back wall. There are a whole group of exhibitors who are specialists in minis and have their own niches that they slip into the supplied space. Surely, that takes the anxiety out of hanging a precious, fragile design. This is the winner in Cinematography: Fade Out, using Chinese toon tree and black ash tree splints.
Blue and Best Blue of the Day for miniatures went to this exquisitely crafted and painted design in Cinematography: Technicolor. Each piece of palm was dried and painted before being reassembled in this tantalizing arrangement. Almost not seen at the back of the cluster, but giving great depth, were two small painted flowers. A masterwork!