Today we have three extremely simple, easy, minimalist projects. You can follow along if you wish. I chose three basic, unadorned vases to keep the foundation pieces simple. I then brought out some dried stems and grasses that have been stored in the supply tubs for a year or two waiting to be used for something.
You can buy dried stems and other floral items on line on various independent sites. Walk-in stores include, but are not limited to Michaels, “Artist and Craftsman Supply”, or big box stores like Target have limited selections. I do NOT recommend Hobby Lobby due to their aggressive anti-LGBT stance. There are also DIY sites that explain and teach how to dry your own flowers and plant materials for crafting purposes. You may also have some shapely twigs laying on your lawn that may work in a pinch.
Trim the elements to a pleasing visual ratio. Medium and tall vases look best when the stem height is at least as tall as the vase, plus a little more. Trim a little bit first, then a little more if required. Too tall or too short don’t look right. If you’re constructing an arrangement in an Ikebana tray, or shallow planter dish, this rule of thumb does not apply.
The first project uses a 15-cm (approx 6″), weighted, lacquered Indian brass vase. I wanted to use red willow twigs because I love the combination of red and brass.
The second arrangement uses a 28-cm (approx 11″) green glass swung vase. A handful of dried grasses fills the container. I was a bit generous with the height for this project. The tallest element is 69-cm (approx 31″).
The third project utilizes a 9-cm (approx 3.5″) stoneware bud vase. A few dry stems with flowers and pods fill out the vase. Note how the dried flowers somewhat resemble the shape of the bud vase.
These are easy-breezy, cheap projects that anyone can try. You can use any vases you own, or you can troll a thrift store to find containers that suit your fancy.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes animator and cartoonist, the late Chuck Jones. “The author O. Henry taught me about the value of the unexpected. He once wrote about the noise of flowers and the smell of birds–the birds were chickens and the flowers, dried sunflowers rattling against a wall.”