Working It

Waterfront Park VancouverOne of the great opportunities open to members of GCA clubs is the opportunity to attend the Flower Arranging Study Group Workshops. This month the workshop was held in Vancouver BC where we made our headquarters at the Four Seasons Hotel. Uber-talented Hitomi Gilliam was our inspired teacher for 3 days of intense design immersion.

 Harborside viewOur intrepid and delightful leader, JJJ, brought her Southern charm and indefatigable energy to the huge task of organizing our five-day sojourn, which included a city tour led by Hitomi on the beautiful day above. At the end of the week, she charged us to go forth and share what we learned. So two days later, I did!

Black vase with rocks and willow sticksThis black ceramic vase has a hollow base.   Hitomi used pan glue, Styrofoam and straight willow sticks from IKEA. Using the pan glue insures that the foam stays put and the sticks remain in place.

 Structure by Hitomi GilliamOrchids, midolino sticks and passion vine were woven and inserted in the willow sticks, creating an airy vertical design by the master, uh, mistress herself.

CornusFor the GC of Princeton last Tuesday, I used the same vase (brought home in my carry on) but without pan-glue, I had to use long wide glue strips to hold the Styrofoam in place.

 Glued Cornus sticksThe red sticks Cornus sericea, red-twig dogwood, were inserted into the Styrofoam through a dot of hot glue which helped them stay secure.

Cornus structure with zip tiesMore pieces of Cornus were shaped into an orb, using black zip ties to hold them in place. Fresh Cornus well hydrated is easy to bend and shape – gently!!  Later the zip ties were trimmed flush with the stems.

 Structure all together in PrincetonAt Princeton, a quantity of black rocks were placed over the Styrofoam, but only enough to barely cover them. If the Styrofoam had been pan-glued in, water could have been placed in the container and the lilies could have sat in it. As it was, they were tubed and zip tied on the Cornus. Finally, a fall of deep ruby colored Amaranth added another texture.

Susan DetjensOther designs in Vancouver used looped extensions of wire-wrapped midolino like this one which also contains horsetail, Oncidium orchids, and a majestic Alocasia leaf.

Structure with willow and helaconiaA stunning design of Heliconia with the willow sticks utilizes vibrant lime green loops of midolino coiling around the vertical thrust of the design. A big shout out to JJJ and Hitomi– thank you thank you – it was the best! And GC of Princeton – thank you too!!

Cheers!

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 Working It

  1. Peggy Moore says:

    Thank you Susan for blogging about the three fantastic days working with Hitomi in Vancouver. And thank you for the comment on my design. Much appreciated.
    Peggy

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