Not as often as I would like, but reasonably regularly, I try to challenge myself by doing some practice designs using plant materials I would not usually consider. On this occasion I tried to utilise some Sansevieria (Mother-in-law tongue) that was left in a pot at our current premises. This is not a plant I have ever used in the past, I’m not a particular fan of succulents in floral design work although I do understand the attraction of growing and using them in competition work.
I also had an old car suspension spring that has been sitting in the “just in case” area of my floral art storage. Time to combine them!
I have covered the spring in thick natural rope by unwinding it and separating the strands before winding it around the spring and securing with strong adhesive strips. I didn’t have enough rope so have covered a small section with coconut fibre as I was also using this, cut into squares, as an added feature elsewhere in the design.
The base is one of my regularly seen slices of banksia – it gives both smooth and rough texture so is a good base to use for a more “natural look” design. I have used kenzans (pinholders) to secure the sansevieria to the top of the slice with one further one glued to the outside of the base. They don’t need a water source – one of the reasons they have become popular in floral art activities. As mentioned earlier, squares of coconut fibre have been placed on the upright placements of the sansevieria.
I sent this image to some of my colleagues for appraisal (rather than judging). They are both qualified floral art judges so I was interested in their feedback as well as being able to show them I can actually do designs with plant material I don’t like 😉
Review Comments: Design needs to be lifted off the bench as there is a very hard visual line at the base accentuated by the outside foliage placement.
The external sansevieria should have some of the rope at the base to repeat that material. The square shape of the cut sections of fibre breaks the rhythm of the placements – maybe round these off or have the fibre loose rather than compressed.
Angle of the image makes me want to see around the front placement to be able to see the one that is partially covered. This angle of the image almost makes the design look unbalanced. Always take images from a few angles, then choose the best angle view to submit for an online competition.
My review: Yes, I agree with all their comments, particularly the angle of this image. Here is an image from a different angle – you can definitely see that it makes a difference to the overall impression of the design.