During the 1970s there was an abundance of wall art made by stringing coloured threads around nails or tacks. To this day, you can find instructions and patterns for these decorations. (Yes, I am old enough to remember these!)
I started to see a progression of this style into more 3 dimensional artworks that were often freestanding and wondered how I could use this in my floral designs.
Lots of experimentation followed. Fortunately one of our businesses is in street flags so the final product uses the flexible top section of pole for these. If you don’t have access to this, what you will need is something that is strong but flexible enough to hold a shape under the tension of the string or rope used in the design.
Finding this basic material was only the beginning. Now I had to devise a way to replicate the nails for the actual stringing of the design. Once again, lots of trial and error but here, now, is the method I have used and two designs that feature this method.
Using 5 lengths of thin florist wire in a bundle (you can use thicker wire individually – I used these as I have an abundance of them), make a loop with a round object as a guide (garden stake, pencil etc).
Twist to secure the loop, leave a 2cm gap and repeat until all wire is used.
Make as many lengths of these “hooks” to cover the support arms you are using.
Using pot tape attach the wire lengths to the arms ensuring the “hooks” are all on the same side.
Cover the length of the arms and wires in pot tape so that the structure is secure. There will be a lot of tension on the hooks and arms so these need to be very strongly attached.
To Use A Base
Using a wooden block as the base, drill a hole into which you can slot one end of one arm at an angle. Place the arm in the hole, bend the other end of the arm and tie into place with fishing line. This fishing line will be removed when the stringing is complete.
Have a look at some of the stringing patterns available on the internet to decide on the pattern and sequence you will use. Here I start at one end and give myself space by threading one section along the arm before returning to the diagonally opposite end of the arm.
It really does require some practice to see what effect you can get with the materials you have on hand. Remember that cotton string and jute are considered plant material for most competitions.
Here are two examples from my recent competition pieces.