Training & Demonstrations, Floristry Demonstration - 15th March 2012

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Neil Bain MDPF demonstrates 'Feeling Crafty' at Ruislip Manor Library and Resource Centre

London Borough of Hillingdon Adult & Community Learning hosted a floristry demonstration by Neil Bain MDPF on the evening of Thursday 15th March. This spectacular show inspired and enthused florists and flower arrangers of all levels from beginners to advanced designers, all skill levels were shown ideas and techniques that they could practice and use within floral design.

A vast range of natural and man made materials were used to showcase craft techniques that are widely incorporated in floral designs; designs that are suitable for many purposes including weddings, gifts, table decorations or floral art to be hung on a wall or used for an outside installation. Neil's work is innovative and exciting, fusing together traditional and new methods to produce distinctive floral designs that are commercially viable. Below is a synopsis of the numerous designs that were demonstrated giving details of the materials and techniques used in each.

  • A modern wedding bouquet, an interpretation of a shower bouquet, the frame constructed of aluminium wire twisted to resemble braiding on a military jacket, this supported a wired posy of Cymbidium orchids. 
  • Limited tied design using Anthurium andreanum 'Cognac' with shredded Cordyline 'Black ti' rising above a square frame of copper wire mesh with Medilino winding through it. 
  • A parallel tied design incorporating vertical zones of Xanthorrhea australis, Helianthus annuus, Chrysanthemum Anastasia, Eryngium 'Orion' with Phoenix roebelenii united in a parallel hand tied design. 
  • Traditional all round hand tied of Gaultheria shallon interspersed with Gerbera 'Ice Queen', Rosa 'Miss Piggy', Anthurium Andreanum 'Cognac' surrounded with a collar of stapled Aspidistra elatior. 
  • Wreath design with gluing and grouping. The 12" foam wreath was masked on the inner an outer edges with a brown paper frame which was assembled with glue and numerous pieces of brown paper. Groups of Gerbera 'Fabio Gold', Rosa 'Miss Piggy', Lilium 'Gironde' were separated by groups of Panicum 'Fountain' and Ruscus hypophyllum. 
  • As a glued wall hanging, discs of glue drizzled from a glue gun were layered over branches, decorated with squares of Betula papyrifa and Phalenopsis orchids which were glued in lines. 
  • A frenzy of knotted Xerophyllum tenax splaying out above a dome of Dianthus caryophyllus. 
  • In an oval tin using pinned Fatsia japonica at the base to balance the tall swirls of Salix babylonica and the soldier-like lines of Gerbera 'Ice Queen' created a linear design. 
  • Folded and glued prospectuses and catalogues were scattered along the table to produce forms to display the single heads of Chrysanthemum Anastasia, squares of hessian ribbon and hat pins inserted into the pleated pages, these many forms connected by lengths of illuminous strimmer feed. 
Whilst demonstrating each of these designs, lots of information was given about the drivers for each of them along with details of the methods of construction. Knowledge was also shared about the botanical materials and their suitability for each design. 

All designs were raffled at the end of the demonstration, giving many attendees the opportunity to take home one of the unique floral designs for their own enjoyment. At the end of the demonstration, Neil spoke with members of the audience answering their questions and encouraged them to create their own interpretations of the designs seen.