Shangri-La…the challenge

Pure pleasure in HawaiiThroughout the Museum of Fine Arts, Honolulu, the gallery spaces of Shangri-La GC Honolulu’s GCA Major Flower Show, showcased lyrical flower arrangements (just for pleasure) like this one with bamboo, hala leaves, and Anthurium with the thematic turquoise woven in midolino constructions.

Vibrant colorsMore turquoise was seen on the cocktail tables with ivy and roses and sparkling jewels.

Peach and Tranquility Challenge ScenePeace and Tranquility were two judges’ floral design Challenge Classes. Ten designers were given the opportunity and the means to be creative, generating a great buzz in the room.

Tranquility Challenge componentsTranquility was the Challenge Class for Approved Judges. We were given a faceted charcoal ceramic container and, even more demanding, assorted wire structures with which to start designing.

Tranquility Challenge PMThose components were accompanied by thoughtful, generous supplies of plant materials: chocolate Anthurium, Hypericum, ‘James Storie’ orchid, Leucadendron argenteum, Equisetum, Magnolia, and palm.

Susan DetjensAs is usual with a GCA Major Show, there was a lot of time allotted in which to create the design. Two of us, being fascinated by the forms, spent a lot of time making structures of the wire components.

Susan DetjensOnce I was satisfied by the components, I found my structure wouldn’t entirely cooperate with easy placement of the flowers!!

 Tranquility  Challenge EquisetumThis designer put long wires in the Equisetum to be able to bend and shape them to create bolder forms of the wire structures. We both earned HMs.

Tranquility Challenge ThirdThird place captured by this designer, using the gorgeous plant material as the stars of the show. Aren’t the Anthuriums luscious?

 Tranquility Challenge SecondThis second place winner reminds us how fascinating it is to see the creativity at work with the same fresh materials.

 Tranquility Challenge FirstFirst place, Tranquility.   It is hard to see in the photo but the designer has woven together the palm leaves on the left of the vibrant orchids, creating an interesting texture.

 Peace plant materials A black vase and a black cross woven structure, along with this plant material, were the basis for the second challenge class, called Peace, for Prospective Judges. White Anthurium, monstera leaves, Amaranthus, yellow pin-cushion protea, green Dendrobium orchids, Equisetum, lily turf grass and a jasmine kind of vine gave the designers a wide choice to execute their designs.

Peace Challenge ThirdThese pedestals for Peace were staged in front of Tranquility, making it harder to photograph them without the shot ‘bleeding’ into those designs. Third place went to this design. The black structure is visible emerging from the yellow protea.

Peace Challenge SecondSecond place in Peace was achieved by this designer using the bold forms and contrast of the anthuriums and monstera leaves to complement the structure.

By keeping to a circular, rhythmic form, including stringing some of the orchid blossoms, lPeace Challenge Firstthe designer honored the Hawaiian islands with this first place design. Challenge classes are the Project Runway of flower shows. Fast thinking followed by careful execution are the hallmarks of the winners. Kudos to all the designers who entered these classes and accepted the challenge. We did have a good time!!


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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2 Responses to Shangri-La…the challenge

  1. susan seidel says:

    HI Susan, I love winning a 2nd but it actually was a 3rd .Diana Kennedy and mine were similar. Loved the term faceted…..I’ve been explaining the vase in my conversations and never came up with that appropriate term……..

    • Susan says:

      Hi Susan – Both are better than our HMs…if there had been 6 in the class, we might not have any award!! Cheers

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