Miniature Abstract – Billy Buttons

Class title: Miniature abstract
Staging: less than 10cm (4″) overall

An abstract design requires you to use your floral material in a non natural way.

Miniature Abstract
The first item that got discarded was a container. Instead I have based the design on some bark shaped into a freestanding triangle. As proportion and scale are particularly important in miniature design I have used the small yellow “Billy Buttons”, an Australian native that can exist perfectly well out of water. These have had the stem trimmed to a short stub and are placed with the stem upwards in the design. I have pushed the boundaries with this design by using an even number of flowers – the accepted norm for competition being odd numbers, one, three five etc.

When I returned to the competition room after judging and saw that this design had been given First place I did one of those involuntary “YES” exclamations. I had not been placed in the Miniature class in this competition before and my Abstract designs in the previous session had been judged as “not Abstract enough” so the First placing was a double bonus.

Judging feedback: The judge was still present and heard my reaction……..she is a strict judge and a bit fierce when you meet face to face. Her opening remark was “What’s your dominant line?” Now I hesitated as I had pushed and pulled that bark triangle so many times to make sure it was within the size restrictions I seemed to remember actually breaking bits off in the end. I was not going to tell the judge this! After a few moments I said “Vertical” which was barely out of my mouth before she said “No its not, I measured them both, they’re exactly the same. Make sure you know next time. Now let’s get some coffee.”

The lessons here are –

1) get judges feedback whenever you can;

2) always expect the judges to check everything in your design, there are no shortcuts.

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