Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Spring Term Week 3

This week at college we started something totally different and something which breaks all the rules of traditional floristry - form linear design. Form linear has a strong European influence and is very design orientated, you can also see some Ikebana influence in there too. It often uses very few flowers and their position in the design is paramount.

They are a little complex to explain but each design consists of 3 main elements and these elements are given a numerical significance - 8 the most significant, important, or the flower/foliage with the most impact, 5 is of medium importance or the supporting flower or foliage and 3 is the lowest significance. There is more to it than that but that is the first bit to try and get your head around, and it took us some time to do that in class!

Above is my first attempt at form linear - the phormium leaves are my 8 they are the most striking aspect of the design, the iris my 5 as they support and bring interest into the design and then the fatsia leaves the 3. The other elements that need thinking about are creating a triangle between the 3 elements of this design and ensuring none of the stems are crossing. It is an unusual style of design with some complex rules and as we are only covering it at a basic level we have not gone too deeply into the whys and wherefores of this style at level 2, that is covered more in level 3.

A final element is leaf manipulation and positioning, above in the picture the fatsia leaves are shadowing or umbrellaing each other which is as far as we took leaf manipulation, but it can be extended into plaiting and folding etc.

This first attempt was not too bad, the elements are all there and I used sand to cover up the foam bringing in an additional texture, but this design isn't really too exciting the way some form linear designs can be.

This was my second attempt, the Iris are now the 8, the salix 5 and the leaves again 3, you can see the umbrella effect more clearly in this photo and I think the stones set the arrangement off much better than sand. None of the stems are crossing but I don't like the way they are moving out of the arrangement at either side, I think it takes focus away from the iris, but this is definitely a much more designy style of floristry and I think in time I will like this one very much.

The same principles are applied to form linear hand tied, but rather than being in foam these are hand tied, and these are not easy. In regular hand tied we spiral the stems, in this form you cannot cross the stems, the stems cross at an imaginary point below the design (!). This is very difficult to manage the stems even if you know what you want to put where, it is getting the flowers and foliage to stay put which makes this very complicated. And as I am not yet happy with hand tieds it seems to be much harder!

All the elements are here, the gerbera my 8, the salix my 5 and the foliage my 3, there is the shadowing too, but as this is basic form linear we couldn't do any leaf manipulation and I felt this design was calling out for the aspidistra leaf to be rolled or folded which would have made it less sticky out! Below is something much more traditional, an all round design in a basket with a candle.

I was pretty pleased with this and as it was a practice for an assessment I felt I was on my way with that one - a nice big chunky candle and some salix to give added areas of interest. Onto the final push with assignments too, 2 are done and gone and 2 more are due for hand in next week. It has been a little bit stressful for a couple of weeks!




Reading challenge 10/16 - currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban (which has disappeared (?) and I am now reading Songbird by Josephine Cox.

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