Floral art expert creates magic at virtual demonstration

Published February 25, 2021
The artist with one of her designs.—White Star
The artist with one of her designs.—White Star

KARACHI: Fabulous creative designs in flower arrangements welcomed the second quarter of the year and the season of spring as the Floral Art Society of Pakistan’ s Gardenia (Karachi chapter) held a virtual demonstration by internationally known floral art expert Asma Ansari on Wednesday.

The floral art expert did free-standing arrangements without the help of florist foam. Her designs were all based in the Japanese floral art of Ikebana, which according to Ms Ansari is also incorporated by some of the most well-known floral art experts of today.

She started with a straight container over the mouth of which she placed a branch. The branch then helped pretty cherry blossoms and a single dahlia as its support.

‘If an arrangement is not turning out to be like you had in mind, you can make something else out of it’

The next arrangement focused on shapes, sizes and bold colours involving two pieces of cardboard, one red and the other brown that were cut into circles joined together to make a two-sided disk.

Ms Ansari took two old tree branches and created magic by placing birds of paradise that she had got from her own garden in the opening between the disks.

What followed was something created from old and wasted air conditioner pipes that the floral artist found lying around her home after some repair work. The pipe was with strips made out of aspidistra leaves and after adding the flowers it all turned out to be an unbelievably pretty four-sided arrangement.

While doing her arrangements, Ms Ansari also shared little tips here and there of how she made things work for her such as her leaving some kind of leaves and flowers in water for a while to let them absorb the water and hence stay moist and fresh for longer after being used in an arrangement.

Thus just watching her was a learning experience. Her square cardboard pieces arrangement with grape vines, old branches, elephant ear stalks, agave flowers and gardenias was not balancing well but she kept talking, asking her viewers to be patient and not panic. “Things can get tricky but even if an arrangement is not turning out to be like you had in mind, you can make something else out of it, too,” she said.

She also talked about how she learnt the art of flower arrangement and Ikebana through competitions. “We used to take part in several competitions that also involved travelling to other cities. Once I used marigold in my arrangement and got scolded for it by the judges. The same thing happened when I used red roses too. But today I thank those very same judges for grooming me,” she smiled.

Her final flower arrangement of round cardboard disks with holes in the middle through which she ran cane sticks was something quite different and quite spectacular after she incorporated little test tubes into the design for providing water to the gardenias, Dutch iris, magnolia and chrysanthemums and bleeding hearts that she used in decorating the arrangement further.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2021

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