Thursday, June 30 2016
Sounds like a man’s job right? Not this time. I’m referring to the actual structure/building of the arrangement and how it’s hidden in the design. For us at Synergy in Silk, every time we build an arrangement we’ve got to conceptualize how to engineer the design so it’s secure in its container and sturdy enough to hold the branches, floral, preserved, etc., we’ll be building in it. This is even more important when we design large scale arrangements for atriums and the holidays.
For starters we use Styrofoam instead of Sahara foam which crumbles and can’t hold the thick branches like Styrofoam can. The Styrofoam comes in 2” sheets. This means we have to measure and cut each sheet and fit them into the container. Once the cutting is done, we then place each Styrofoam piece like a layer cake, starting fairly deep in the container so we can anchor the tallest, heaviest stems. Once all the Styrofoam is in, we’ll run 36” hyacinth sticks through on a diagonal to hold all the pieces in the layer cake together, gluing the sticks from the top. After testing they’re secure, we moss the top to cover the foam and sticks. Sometimes we even spray the sheet moss we use so it doesn’t fade over time. This we don’t have to hide.
Now the design begins. When dealing with large scale arrangements we use large scale natural and faux floral/greenery. Sometimes the stems are as thick as 4” round. For these we need to prepare a hole in advance usually with a screwdriver to help start the hole so we can get the depth of the stem needed to secure it properly. As we continue to design we’ll use things like barked wire to tie the deep seated, thick stems together which makes them super sturdy.
Once the design is crafted, we do our “icing”, the finishing touch. We look carefully at the design and wherever we see silver shining through from a pick or a faux stem we’ll use preserved reindeer moss or lichen moss to cover it up and keep the design looking natural. A large scale arrangement like this can take anywhere from 2-5 days, or more to finish depending on its complexity.
Speaking of design mechanics, I have learned a lot over time. My wonderful staff too has been very helpful with insights for better engineering. Especially my friend & Project Manager Shawna, who often blows the minds of the men at Home Depot when she knows more about materials for a project than they do. Kudos to my staff!
So that’s design mechanics. I hope you enjoyed this blog and learned a thing or two on what it takes to build a structurally sound large scale arrangement.
In peace & love,