Leaf manipulation is a strange sounding term and a floral design technique new to most of us. During the March 9, 2017 meeting Mary Silas and our own Carolyn Stevens demonstrated how to modify myriad types of leaves to create movement and interest in a floral arrangement. We learned that with simple tools like scissors, staples and U-glue dots almost any type of foliage can be shredded, bent, curled, cut and woven to create unique and unnatural plant forms.
One doesn’t have to purchase expensive flowers for designs or grow exotic plants. The foliage from common houseplants can be used in leaf manipulation. Many good designers find plant material in unexpected places and change it into an unrecognizable form for use in floral designs.
Once a leaf has been manipulated it can be dried and used countless times. Mary shared a tip with regard to painting dried leaves which was unknown to me. First paint a brown leaf with silver paint. This helps the top coat of any color adhere better!
Those in attendance were encouraged to try their hand at manipulating a leaf after the demonstration. It was fun to watch members discover new ways to express their creativity! We learned that design components don’t have to be complicated. Just a twist here and a fold there will do it!
A beginner’s guide can be ordered by visiting www.leafmanipulation.com
Gail Emmons has written a beautiful guide to working with leaves in a contemporary way