I took a beginning-level floral design workshop two years ago through my local garden club. When I could not attend class on the day we studied Crescent Design, my teacher invited me to return for a make-up class. Yesterday I finally made it back.
Crescent is a fun design to make and everyone’s arrangements turned out well. All designs shared the basic crescent form, yet we commented how different each result was. Given that we started with the same instructions and same materials, each person’s unique approach was apparent.
The crescent design is asymmetrical. Think of the way the crescent moon looks. The longer curve is usually on the left in this design.
We formed the line of the crescent using stems of Israeli Ruscus and Bells of Ireland. Bells of Ireland have some natural curve and the ruscus can be slowly bent to encourage it into shape. It does not mean it is easy to keep that line curving though. Next the line was reinforced with flowers. We used spray roses, alstroemeria, and several sizes of carnations. The largest carnations were reserved to create a focal point near the bottom.
In a class like this the atmosphere is a bit frenzied since there is a limited amount of time to complete the assignment. I always think I could have fixed this or that with a bit more time and even before I photographed the flowers I could see some changes that would improve the design. I let the bottom of the crescent become a little too heavy and should have left some negative space to help keep the eye moving from one side of the crescent to the other.
Nevertheless I was excited by the result.
I brought home some leftover flowers and several stems of Ruscus so I can play with crescent design some more this week.
3 stems Ruscus sp. (hypoglossum or hypophyllum) (Israeli Ruscus)
3 stems Moluccella laevis (Bells of Ireland)
3 stems White Spray Roses – petite flowers, 3 to 5 flowers per stem
3 stems White Large Carnations – one large flower per stem
3-4 stems White Spray Carnations (Mini Carnations) – many smaller flowers
3 stems Green Dwarf flowered Carnations – several small flowers on one stem
3 stems Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily)
6-inch clear, shallow dish
Floral foam brick
The instructor began the lesson by introducing two design principles, dominance and contrast, along with two design elements, color and texture. From last time she also reviewed the principles of balance and rhythm and the elements, color and form. We looked at many examples in the textbook and had an interesting discussion about why they worked. (Interestingly, some of the examples, we agreed, did not really work successfully and it was helpful to have the teacher and the other two women who were assisting her point out some quibbles they saw with some of the arrangements pictured in our book.)
It is hard to keep all these concepts in mind once flowers are in hand, but over time reviewing these design principles and elements improves and refines our sensibilities and taste.
Elements of Design
In flower arranging the basic design components or building blocks are balance, contrast, dominance, proportion, rhythm, scale.
Principles of Design
The principles guide how the elements are structured or arranged, leading to a cohesive design (color, form, line, space, texture).
As I mentioned today’s workshop was a make-up class from the beginner level class. Actually this year I am taking the second level workshop series and I look forward to meeting with that class next week. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to study with the women from the garden club who conduct these classes for the members.