TECHNIQUES OF FLORAL DESIGN Professional methods used in floral design to assemble or construct floral arrangements to make your ideas come to life. Some are very general, and others fit best into certain styles of design.Styles will be covered in this work also, the knowledge of how they all both work together:Principles, elements, techniques, and styles really work as if they are players on the same team all playing important roles on forming a successful floral arrangements designs.Style requires techniques and principles that governs the elements of design, all building blocks to successful designing. Good knowledge of principles, elements, and techniques, it is like placing a puzzle together. The more knowledge we acquire of all the parts, the better able are we to use them in solving a wide range of designing challenges and problems we will face when we are designing with flowers.This section will cover the following design techniques:• Basing—layering or stacking, terracing, pavé, clustering, and pillowing.• Grouping and Zoning• Banding• Binding• Shadowing• Sequencing• Framing• Parallelism• SkeletonizingDesign techniques in detail:BasingIs the act of covering the area at the base of a floral arrangement, generally known as basing. An arrangement’s base is the horizontal ground surface found at the container’s top. This ground surface usually consists of the exposed surface of the floral foam block into which the floral elements are inserted.Basing creates focal emphasis at the base of an arrangement.Adding texture, colour, shape, dimension and visual balance to an arrangement.It is often used in formal linear and parallel contemporary designs to activate the surface. Basing adds texture also creatively covering the mechanics of the arrangement.Good for hiding foam, glue, tape, plant materials used in basing: Foliage, greenery, moss, fern, boxwood, small flowers and flower buds, pods and statice to point a few. By either placing the stems into the foam or securing with wire, pins or German pins.LayeringLayering, sometimes called stacking, is a basing technique in which leaves or other thin, flat materials are placed one on top of the other for visual effect (Figure 3). The edges of the leaves get the most attention in this technique. They can be secured together in stacks of three or more with a small,wired wooden pick and placed into the foam horizontally. The leaves can be of graduated sizes with the largest on the bottom. Or they can also be reversed to reveal the different colour on the back. The designer may also place the layered stack of foliage so that it extends over the edge of the container, in that way breaking the line created by the container’s edge. TerracingTerracing is similar to layering except the materials used are thicker and more three-dimensional. More depth can be achieved with terracing.Certain materials are natural for this technique: lotus pods and sponge mushroomare two dried materials that bring texture and contrast to a fresh design. Other materials that work well for terracing are discs of wood, stones, and fruit slices. This stair step idea can also give movement to static areas at the bottom of a design. PavéPavé is a word borrowed from the craft of jewellery making. Pavé is a basing technique in which practically identical small flowers or pods are placed close to each other and close to the floral foam If you think of this as a cobblestone effect, you can understand how each part still has its own identity while working to create an over-all texture. That each placement retains its own identity is important because it makes this technique different from other basing techniques. The cobblestone texture of pavé basing can be used in small areas, or you can use it to make a path from the front to the back of a design. ClusteringClustering is another basing method in which like materials are placed so closely together that they lose their individual identity. With this method, the quantity and shape of each individual flower is obscured to the point that the cluster acts as one unit. In other words, one flower in the group doesn’t stand out from the others and call attention to itself. For example, clustered liatris would be seen as one mass of purple flowers. Certain flowers work better that others for this method; for instance, carnations are an excellent choice for clustering because all of the petals are almost the same. When they’re placed close together, they all blend into one another and in the process lose their individual identity. PillowingPillowing is a basing method that’s a variation on clustering. As the name implies, rounded shapes are the object of this technique. Think of rolling hills, clouds, or pillows: the contour is rounded, and harsh angles are absent. Pillowing involves the use of a mounded mass of floral materials at the design’s surface level .Pillowing can be used at the edge of a container where a rounded shape would make a good transition from the container to the design. This kind of a soft shape can be used as a contrast to harsh lines elsewhere in a design. Pillowing is a basing technique in rounded shapes.It can also be used to repeat a curved line to help develop a theme and rounded materials are massed to create the effect of soft pillows, billowing clouds, In a design work, these basing techniques will help you add interest to a design and provide a more sophisticated alternative to just covering foam with moss.GroupingGrouping refers to placing collections of identical floral materials in an arrangement, and separating the collections from each other with clearly defined negative space. There must be space between individual groups of elements.Negative space makes each group distinct. Negative space is open space deliberately included in an arrangement. It’s “negative” because it separates the individual elements. In agrouped arrangement, the flowers in a particular group must all be the same. The individual flowers within each group generally retain their individual identity and can be of different heights. Grouping is often used in vegetative, landscape, parallel, and new convention arrangements. Grouping, then, joins identical flowers into individual groups and draws attention to each group of material. Grouping gives the colours and shapes additional strength while adding visual emphasis and impact to each area in the arrangement. Grouping arranges and classifies similar elements to emphasize form and/or colour. However, the elements aren’t massed; each group makes a statement as a separate entity.BandingBanding is mainly used as a decorative addition to an arrangement. In banding, some type of material, such as metallic wire or ribbon, is wrapped around one or several stems. A banded bouquet creates a strong visual statement. Banding is a decorative technique only; it serves no functional purpose. In other words, the twine, ribbon, or tape is only ornamental, it’s not used to hold the floral elements in place.BindingBinding involves tying a group of many stems into one mass. Materials like sheaves of wheat, straw, or corn are bundled together for use in floral arrangements. In other words, relatively large quantities of material are bound together with string, twine, or raffia (not with floral tape) and worked into an arrangement. Raffia is a natural material obtained from palm trees which is often used to make mats, hats, and baskets.Although banding and binding sound alike, they’re not. The purpose of banding materials together is a decorative one only. In binding, however, the purpose is to actually hold the floral elements in place. In other words, binding is a functional technique, while banding isn’t. But note that, while binding actually does the physical task of holding a group of materials together, the binding material and method should have some decorative quality as well ShadowingIn the shadowing technique, floral designers place two pieces of identical material in an arrangement, one immediately behind the other. Shadowing is most effective in arrangements with only a few flowers and foliage elements. The result resembles a Shadow.As with a shadow, one element is larger than the other. Many times this is accomplished with flowers, foliage, or fern fronds that protrude from a single point in the arrangement. When fronds are used, one frond is placed behind another (or behind a similar piece of foliage). Identical flowers, such as carnations, delphinium, or alstroemeria, to name just a few, can be used to shadow each other. Shadowing adds visual depth, or a third dimension, to the design.SequencingIn sequencing, floral materials are arranged in a pattern of progressive change. Sequencing is most powerful when the change in the pattern of colour, size, or texture is gradual.The size can move from large to small or small to large. Colour can change from dark to light or light to dark.And, texture can change from smooth to rough or from rough to smooth. Sequencing doesn’t demand, however, that all three elements change in any one arrangement. It’s only necessary for one element to display a gradual change. Sequencing is used to create distinctive, modern arrangements. Sequencing is a gradual progression of colour, size, or texture in the materials in the floral arrangement. Earlier, we dis-cussed a western line arrangement where each successive flower was placed farther and farther away from the largest, focal flower. The size of the flowers decreased while the space between the flowers increased. The idea was to draw the viewer’s eye to the focal area. As you can see, this type of progression is a form of sequencing.FramingFraming is a design technique that involves enclosing specific floral materials within an area. The materials chosen for the frame must have some relevance to the materials used in the design and the design as a whole, or else the frame will look like an afterthought. Think of this technique in terms of placing a photograph in a pictureframe. By putting a frame around a picture.The key to sequencing is achieving a gradual change in the colour, size, or texture, you give the picture more emphasis. an arrangement. Note how the flowers areIn the same way, framing a floral design sequenced by size. Puts special visual emphasis on the floral elements within the.Frames are most commonly made by placing straight or curved twigs at the right and left of the design. This creates a frame on the outer perimeters of the design. The focal area is located at some point within the frame. Flowers, branches, linear greens, or anything you can give a curve to are often used as framing materials.Framing isolates the focal materials of a floral composition by demanding the viewer’s attention. The frame might completely or only partially encompass the floral materials within the design. When a design is only partially framed, the eye completes the frame.ZoningZoning works in much the same way as grouping, but the space between the groups of floral materials is much moredistinguishable. When zoning an arrangement, designers place a group of flowers into a zone; the zone is then given a prominent place within the design. Designers often zone arrangements that featurea group of expensive flowers, such as orchids or lilies. The flowers will be prominently displayed.Another way to use zoning is to create a large-scale arrangement where the flowers are separated by visual space rather than actual empty space. In such an arrangement, the blooms in the mass can be very close to or can even touch each other. How-ever, one zone of dominant flowers will be separated from another by subordinate flowers located between the two. For example, delphiniums can be positioned and clearly defined on one side of an arrangement, with liatris on the other side. An area of contrasting blooms would be positioned between the two zones.ParallelismYou’ll learn in the next section that parallelism is one of the classical floral design styles. However, parallelism is also considered a generic design technique, an extension of zoning. As a technique, parallelism involves positioning like materials in separate vertical groupings. The result is similar to trees in a forest or to a row of telephone poles that are parallel to each other.A designer might group gladiola, liatris, and iris within an arrangement. Each group is kept separate and distinct. Parallelism requires a distinct amount of negative space between the groups. The container used with this technique is usually low—only a few inches high. The low container exposes the arrangement’s highly textured base. In parallelarrangements, there are never any diagonal (crossing) stems. Rather, all stems are vertical.SkeletonizingSkeletonizing is a way of trimming foliage to give added emphasis to the branch or stem. Using a sword fern as an example, hold the fern near the top with two fingers, and strip all of the leaves below where you’re holding it. Thisworks well with eucalyptus you create a material with a sleek line and an interesting tip. The skeletonizing idea comes from revealing the stem that’s obscured by the leaves on the stem.