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Inspirational techniques

emc designer floral design floral education inspiration techniques and mechanics Oct 25, 2022

What can you find in the EDGE fanzine?

EMC Teachers presenting designs focused on one technique

fanzine is a publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest.

Our phenomenon is called floral design and if you are among those who share the interest in this wonderful and creative metier, you are in the right place. As an addition to organising the EMC Go Live Event in the summer of 2020, we have created the first issue of EDGE, the /'fan,zën/ for creatives in motion, a collection of interviews, insight into floral design and creative resources to inspire you as conscious creative designer. At EMC we are enthusiastic about floral design, we love to dive into the the depths of the creative thought process, we are curios to see and hear other perspectives. As a result of the good reviews from our community, EMC has published a second edition, focused all on trends and is not in the process of nearly releasing the next one, all about weddings.

One of the features of the fanzine is a section dedicated to inspire designers and florists to view techniques from a different perspective. Techniques are defined by verbs as they are the actions you execute in order to reach a certain outcome. Designs are a combination of techniques and they should serve to expand your creative possibilities! We believe that each of us, as designers are continually seeking and yearn for continual creative ideas and ambitions. We must allow ourselves to be changed and open to becoming “consciously creative” – not seeking out the next trendy “trick or tip”, but discovering there are infinite possibilities that surround us to create. Creativity is the ability to collect spare ideas and we strongly believe we need to change the idea of how we think about creativity, just as we need to change the way we see education. It is no longer about only the craftsmanship, but more about seeing the potential in each element, so the possibilities of combining them become infinite. The EDGE fanzine was created with that in mind, as it offers the readers interesting information, meaningful content and innovative ideas, integrating them all into a distinct publication.  

The EMC core team is always present in the pages of the fanzine, by presenting a design that focuses on one element. In the case of the EMC teachers, we're diving into techniques and the way they are perceived through the EMC curriculum. 

Exploring the visual impact of a functional technique and taking it to the point where it serves decorative purposes as well is key in this design.

When we think of water, the immediate association is to the word "life" and this statement is even more relevant when our work consists of surrounding ourselves with one of the most beautiful and richest expressions that nature gives us, that is, flowers.  

Hydration, therefore, is one of the techniques (one of the most important) that gives us the opportunity of extending its existence as long as possible. But also, when we talk about the "to water" technique, thinking about hydrating our flowers is only the beginning of its many possibilities ... because water is also transformation! from its changes of state, colours and shapes. 

This design is partly an experimentation game, water is, in addition to being a source of hydration, a support mechanism that modifies the visual perception of the sizes and shapes of everything it contains. "Suspended" flowers that, due to the translucent effect, in combination with the shape of the glass container, give us new and unique reality.

 This simple design is consisting of natural elements, wood and fresh botanicals and it encompasses the simple, yet intricate, idea of imponderability implied by tension and distribution of botanicals. My focus in this was to explore the glue technique as part of a creative exercise, where I analyse the steps of the process, the mechanics I am using and start playing with possible combinations between them . 

When using the glue technique, it is important to take in consideration what materials we want to connect, for the blocks of wood the hot glue was used as it offers a quick, but strong connection, ensuring durability as well. The kiwi vine was inserted in a previously drilled hole and glued with the same glue used for the blocks. Considering the desired outcome before actually starting to work is sometimes crucial, as you do not want to deteriorate a decorative mechanic by drilling a hole. Step by step means taking the right steps at the right time.

Further more, I used a brush to apply the carpenter glue to the surface and soon after that sawdust was sprinkled on top to create a nice texture. For the fresh botanicals the Oasis cold glue was the obvious choice, not only to attach the materials together but also to seal the flowers and prevent damage. 

 Knitting is quite an effective technique with so many possibilities. Although typically, knitting can be used as a functional technique to bind, connect or attach, if reinforced with wire and fabric stiffener it can provide a support mechanic that has great aesthetics. Last Sunday, my husband called me outside and to our delight there were a number of Rays in the water dancing around each other and feeding on the oysters growing off of our shoreline. As they were swimming, their wings surfaced from the water, hence the inspiration for the knitted construction and the organic shapes. The base was purposefully made rustic to mimic the osprey nest to the right of where the rays were feeding. Many of the beads I hand-made using clay and they represent the pearls that potentially can be found in the oysters. The color palette was chosen based on the available botanicals from my garden.

To create the construction, I knitted 4 sections to a round wire. As the four sections were created in two of the sections, I also crocheted. Once the 4 sections were completed, I hand sewed wires into the sections and did further manipulation to create the organic shape. The base was created using the spider web technique and bind wire but to mimic the osprey nest, the wires comprising the spider web were bent after the webbing was completed. Fabric stiffener was then painted on sections of the knitted construction where support was needed (it took 1 day to dry). PVC based clay was used to create most of the beads and they were baked in the oven to harden. The beads were then glued onto the construction. Water tubes were then inserted. The Rosa “Meijocos” were placed and finally, the Scabiosa caucasica were added to dance above the Rosas. 

 To drill is a powerful technique which offers many options for floral design. The appliance of the techniques is dependent on a tool, the drill machine, and learning to use one can prove useful in expanding your creative ideas. Drilling can be done in many materials, wood, stone, even light consistency iron - provided the power of the tool and the drills used are adapted tot he material. The easiest way to start is by working on wood, of course, a material we so often find in floral designs of many.

To drill, in the case of my design, means expanding the possibilities of design vertically, outside of the beautiful decorative wooden tray I have chosen. Connecting the bamboo skewers to the tray is very easy, as I have chosen a size of drill that fits perfectly and drilled wholes all around the upper edge of the container. 

The strength of this technique lie in the ability it gives you as a designer to construct, to build up, to connect, to secure and so on. It's uses are literally endless and there's no holding back to what you can creatively achieve with such a technique.

Dare to try it!


 To wax is a versatile technique with many possibilities. It can create a functional mechanic as a seal or a support mechanic as a method to create a vessel. I experimented with wax as a decorative technique. I was inspired to create this design based on an experience a few weeks ago. It was a glorious sunny day and I was on a boat fishing with friends. Suddenly, the winds picked up, the skies changed from blue to purple, the calm bay grew white caps, and the marine radar had hail warnings. The construction mimics the large cloud hovering over the boat. The netting depicts the fishing nets we were using, the organic shapes of the waves with the painted wax embody the whitecaps. The spheres of the some of the botanicals the impending hail. The construction narrows as we navigated via radar to make it out of the storms paths and emerged out to sunny skies where we continued our fishing. The color palette was chosen to represent the blues and purples of the sky and yellows of the sun. 

To build the structure, make a cane circular base and attach a vertical skeleton using 3/16 inch half round and 1/4 inch round reed. Create the base with 4 groups of 15 20-guage wire. Bind in the center and cover the upper wires with white floral tape and create a spider web on the top half of the base using paper covered bind wire. On the bottom part of the base, tape the 4 groups of 15 grouped wires together and make 4 legs. Wrap the 4 legs with white floral tape. Bind the upper portion of the legs with bind wire for strength and then bend the tips to form feet, covering with white floral tape and waxed string. Use 5 MM binder cane and 1/8 inch round reed and weave organic shapes chaotically into the skeleton ensuring the construction is securely attached to the base. Once the desired shape is formed, create the netting throughout the structure. Melt paraffin wax and use a paint brush to layer the wax onto the netting leaving some netting uncoated. Wrap mini water tubes in floral tape and tape the botanical stems into the tubes, then attach to the cane throughout construction. 

 Exploring the visual impact of a functional technique and taking it to the point where it serves decorative purposes as well is key in this design.

When we think of connecting as a technique, we have to understand the possibilities it offers are infinite and there are many ways we can use it to help build up visually and phisically a design. In this case, connecting the bamboo sticks on to the other was done with Oasis bind wire and as I want to achieve a very three dimensional shape at the end, I am being very aware of how much distance I am allowing between each stick. Choosing the right mechanics when implementing a techniques is crucial for the final outcome and implementing the techniques correctly plays an important role as well. 

The process of connecting is time consuming but the overall final visual impact that is achieved is worth the work. Such a simple technique can uplift a design immensely. 

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