Hello Flower Friend

February News

Welcome to the February issue of Flower Thoughts. This month we've got more news, design opportunities and inspiration covered for you.

Chatting About 3:5:8

While exploring the world of floral design it's almost inevitable that the Principle of 3:5:8 will be mentioned at some point. It sounds, and is, super fascinating, but it's not always easy to draw a clear line between what 3:5:8 it is, what it means and how it can be applied.

Our new blog post, A Chat About the 3:5:8 Principle, covers how the centuries-old concept was brought to prominence (in mathematics!) and how it has been adopted into the practice of working with flowers. It's an enlightening topic, and worthy of in depth study and experimentation, particularly how it can be used as a useful guide to producing designs with more dynamic, exciting proportions. We can't cover the principle comprehensively in a single blog post so we've presented an overview to provide a foundational understanding, with some tips on how it might be used in a practical way when figuring out proportions for a competition design within a given height limit. You can find the details here:

Read More About the 3:5:8 Principle

Design of the Month

The February Design of the Month is by Yukina Sakabe, and is a fascinating exercise is technique and minimalism. Yukina has worked exclusively with Steel Grass (Xanthorrhoea australis) and and the Rinko Ami technique to create this stunning wall wreath. Rinko Ami is a Japanese basket weaving technique, also sometimes referred to as the Wheel Weaving technique or Bull's Eye Pattern. It is a type of circular plaiting, with the possibility to induce a clockwise or anticlockwise rhythm. Remarkably, the construction does not require any fastening, such as binding or gluing. The Grass stems are interlocked in a method that keeps them in place once the wreath is finished.

Yukina is a Brisbane based florist working with the talented team at Maison Fleur Floral Design. She is also a Sogestsu Ikebana practioner.

This wall wreath was made for one of the tasks in our original Design Discipline course, which encouraged participants to select and use one plant material variety as predominantly as possible. Yukina certainly succeeded in keeping to just one material!  Design Discipline has been updated into our Design Solutions program.

See more of Yukina's floral pursuits here:

Yukina Sakabe - Instagram

International Floral Art

Submissions have been invited for the tenth edition of the notable International Floral Art book. The 2023/2024 volume is scheduled for release in November 2024.

Feeling creative and want to share your art with the world? This could be the perfect platform for you.  Each book in the series is always an incredible survey of work from all around the world - an eclectic mix of styles, cultures and artistic expressions. Some of the included designs can be provocative and have you scratching your head wondering what the creators were thinking, but that can be a healthy challenge to our establish ed ways. The designs can shake us out of our comfort zones and refresh our perspectives on 'what is floral art?'.

The International Floral Art series has been going strong for almost 20 years and displays the evolution of floral art. New talents can be discovered side by side with established designers of renown

Inspiring compositions can be found within the pages of each edition. Perhaps this is your chance to share your own creativity and offer inspiration to others?

Click here to find more information about becoming a part of the next volume:

International Floral Art 2023-2024 - Submission Details

Succeed with Design Solutions

Deciding on what materials to use in a design can often induce procrastination or indecision. I speak from experience!

By limiting the material varieties you use, and using them repeatedly, some of the obstacles to a smooth creative process can be removed, allowing you to focus on the nuts and bolts of designing - how to apply the principles of design. Using less variety means really exercising those principles to find solutions to create successful designs. This thinking is the premise behind our Design Solutions course - using less to learn more.

Participants in the program start by choosing two botanical materials and then proceed to create four compositions - each time exploring how to create successful areas of interest, effective rhythm and overall harmony. This could be quite the experience if your choices are potatoes and Protea.  Or Birch bark and Babies' Breath (Gypsophilia) ... imagine!

The program tasks include arrangements, bridal designs, wreaths and overlapping compositions.  Even if you don't regularly make or practise these styles, they are useful tools for exploring how we can find answers to our design questions.

Participants use skills and knowledge at their own level - the aim is to improve as individual designers, not to overreach or compete. As with all our offerings, Design Solutions is open to floral creatives from all disciplines and schools of thought.

Design Solutions starts on 22 February and runs until 24 May. It includes 5 online meetings or recordings (or both - your choice) and 4 practical tasks.There are 3 or 4 weeks between each practical assignment to allow plenty of time for planning, creating and capturing your work.

The registration fee is $485 ($AUD). You can register and find more details by clicking the button below:

Learn More - Design Solutions

Online Exhibition - Linear Precision

Our latest online exhibition of floral design features the work of  ...... me!  As with our previous exhibitions by Irene Brockwell and Annita Bokobli, this collection covers a range of designs which offer a glimpse of the designer's thinking - in this case, mine. I have a long held affinity with exploring clean lines and more often than not I take a structural appoach when starting most composition. Getting my hands (and brain) into the intricacies of techniques and styles that allow me to showcase line and play with visual balance has been a signature apporach throughout most of my career.

This latest exhibition brings together 12 designs from an array of projects that also represents the diversity of my career - from demonstration and teaching work, through to compositions created for the pages of various design publications.

Take a closer look at the collection here:

View 'Linear Precision'

The Leaning Continues

We've had some great feedback on our most recent eBook, A Lesson in Leaning. The technical details and design explanatons, with accompanying photos, make this style of designing understandable and accessible Organising materials around an angled axis can be a challenge, but the resulting impact is so often worth it.  This guide opens up new design opportunities.

You can purchase and download a copy via this button:

A Lesson in Leaning - eBook

Below:  A leaning design I made with simple wire mechanics and the binding technique, as an example for our Design Directions program..

The Flower Thinkers Group Continues to Grow

It's fantastic to watch our Flower Thinkers Facebook Group grow, along with the intereactions with and between members. 

Our 'Question of the Week' continues to stimulate great interaction and sharing.  We've loved seeing members share their comments, preference and images, and look forward to seeing more.

Haven't joined Flower Thinkers yet?  Click on the button below - the group is an inclusive community for all who enjoy creating with, and thinking about, flowers and plant materials.

Become a Flower Thinker

If you have any questions or comments about floral design and ways in which Flower Thinking can support your growth as a designer, I'd love to hear them.

Share Your Questions & Comments With Me

Thank you for reading Flower Thoughts. I hope the change of season at February's end brings new plant materials, inspiration and creative energies to you.



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