Formal Linear Design Style

Creating a hand-tied bouquet is an essential skill that every professional floral designer must master. In this video Leanne reviews the techniques for creating a hand-tied bouquet in the formal linear design style using a natural armature of curly willow. Although challenging, mastering the formal linear style is wonderfully rewarding. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Flower School .com video library. I'm Leanne Kesler, director of the Floral Design Institute, and today I'm here to share with you a fabulous hand tie done in the formal linear style. When you create a hand tied bouquet it's important to have everything prepared ahead of time, making sure all the flowers are ready. So with the liatris taking a moment and stripping it down, removing all of the side foliage, making sure that it's clean and tidy, double checking if anything is out of whack. You know, if it's got a bad part, remove it so that when you're ready to design all you have to do is gather the flowers. And I've done that already with the other flowers, the delphinium, misty, bunny tail, celosia, hydrangea. And then I have the foliage prepared as well. 

When you're working in the linear format, you don't want to start with a huge nest of foliage, because that takes away from the line and just enhances the mass. So an armature is a good alternative, and for that I'm going to use curly willow. Looking at it, determining this has great height to it, but all of this will be in the way. So pulling them off, clipping it down, cleaning it up, then looking again. Maybe even taking off that piece. Then shortening. And that will become the center. 

But that's just upright I would like something that give me a little bit of an armature. For that I go back and add more willow into my hand, and weave it, bringing it down, tying it, building a structure then, that will support the other flowers. So you can mold it around the back with a little bit more, bringing it down, twisting, and thinking about fully dimensional. I don't want it to be flat, so coming to the opposite side, pulling it. And again. 

Then once I have everything where I feel like it's going to give me the support I need, I've got nice curvature at the base, I can always go back and add a little more. Getting more movement going on. Then using bind wire, lashing it all together, and that becomes the base of the design. To keep it neat and tidy, go ahead and cut some of this back off. You don't need all of it. Just going to be in the way. The shorter pieces can be cut out. That way you've got a nice base to build upon. Then coming in with your line material first, liatris, feeding it down into the armature. Finding the perfect little hole, sliding it in. Repeating. Maybe a little bit of the delphinium, sliding it in. That blue color is so fabulous. 

You can see how the armature just holds it in place, keeps everything together. For a little bit of pizazz, adding a hydrangea will create the focal emphasis. The nice part about an armature is you can leave into it and it supports. But it's not necessary to weave everything in. It's totally fine just to set it in place like so. Notice I didn't feed it into it. I just sat it right up against, giving a nice base. And then you can go back and add in more line material. Even the buds are so lovely. Bringing that in, pulling back up. Maybe another. That blue color is so fabulous, just enhancing with a little bit more. 

Once I have the vertical, establishing my line, the focal emphasis, then I can bring in more lines. Maybe some drumstick allium, angling it quite a bit so it creates movement out to the side. Feeding it through. Bringing in the bunny tail, coming into the opposite side. I can feed it through the structure and also put some just beside the structure, vivid color. That one's going to go through. And then down on the outside. It's going to through too. They all fit right in there. Adding movement, coming out to the right and the left. Maybe another allium. Thinking about the spacing, drawing the eye in. And then the softness of the misty to give you just a little more movement to the side. 

A little bit of foliage to fill in, but not so much that it becomes just a big, huge mass. If you do tons, you lose the beauty of the lines. So a tiny bit just to fill in, maybe there, back here. Pulling it into my hand, dropping it down. Maybe a little bit of the lily grass out to the side. And then for substance right at the bottom, fatsia leaves, creating almost a shelf underneath the bouquet, setting everything off. Switch hands so that I can put on the opposite side. Then to secure everything in place, lashing it again with bind wire. 

The hand tie can then be wrapped and delivered just like this, so that anyone can set it into their own vessel. Or you can add it to a vase yourself. Easiest, just hold it against the edge of the table and judge your height. And go through and cut the ends. And then just drop it right in place. I remember the first time I tried to create a hand tie, and it was such a challenge. Then I finally mastered it. Then I remember the first time that I tried to do a linear hand tie. It's a little bit more complicated, but then I mastered it. So I encourage you. Practice this several times. The beauty of the hand tie is, you can create it, take it apart, do it again. Create it, take it apart, do it again. And keep practicing until you get it down comfortably well. 

Now for more creative inspiration and more hand tie designs, check out the website, Flower School .com. The website contains hundreds of floral design how-to videos, floral design classes, online floral classes and DIY Flowers. 

If you have questions, you can reach us through there or pick up the telephone. 503-223-8089. And I really do love to see what you create. Take a picture. Post it on social media and tag #FloralDesignInstitute. That way we all can see what you create as you do something you love.

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