Dare To Be Different Glenelg 2014

Thank you to Caloundra Floral Art Group (Qld) for sharing these images.






























































































































WAFA Ireland Seminar

WAFA Ireland Hon Exhibit 1


wafa Ireland hon exhibit 2


WAFA Ireland Hon Exhibit 3



We were delighted to be invited to design and execute the Australian Honorary Exhibit on behalf of the Australian Floral Art Association (AFAA), at the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) Ireland Seminar ‘A Celtic Journey’ 10th to 13th May 2012.
The WAFA Ireland MC forwarded the following guidelines: (1)Staging to be on supplied metal stands 1220mm high x 330mm square with a 1inch metal mesh on the top, and a magic arm attachment. Space allowed for the exhibit 1 mitre height unlimited.
(2)Honorary Exhibitors were requested to create an exhibit which interpreted an aspect of their Country, and to forward a Statement of Intent of 30 words approximately to illustrate the ideas of the exhibit.
(3)Staging would be in the **Fota Island Hotel** between 7am – 12noon on Friday morning 11th May.
The WAFA MC had made arrangements with a Wholesale Supplier who would supply fresh plant material and have the order delivered at the Hotel.
(4)An information sheet was also supplied outlining the plants, plant products and other objects that should be accompanied with a Phyto Certificate when they come from outside of the EU and should be accompanied by a Plant Passport if they are moved within the EU. Australia was one of the countries identified who would need a Phyto Cert if taking in the listed materials.

Now for the thinking progress as to what to do, with the vast selection of indigenous plant materials available, and the temptation to use as many varieties of banksias, kangaroo paw etc what will be available, what will last if taking plant materials with us. All questions previous floral designers have asked when in this situation, also wanting to show the wealth of our beautiful Australian plant material to the WAFA delegates who would be attending the seminar from around the world.

Finally inspiration for the design came from the coloured and textured bark of the Angophora one of the many Eucalyptus (Gum) trees that shed their bark annually in ribbons flakes or chips, leaving colourful ‘new’ trunks of pale grey, pinks or orange/red tones.
The Angophora bark is quite soft and malleable in texture, with a redish/orange/cream colour. A considerable amount of this was collected, graded, soaked in a PVC glue mix, piled, and then bent and compressed into a curve, to fit with concentric circles, into a 60cm round ply base, which was glued and stapled. This technique took several weeks to compile and then to dry, before being bubble wrapped into a specially formed, heavy duty cardboard box. Various materials were packed around the box including smaller sec spheres, glass vials, extra bark to finish the design, gum nuts and other mechanics that would be required.
To compliment the texture and colour of the bark, a selection of Australian plant material was ordered from the suppliers. Yellow Anigozanthos, Xanthorrhoea, Crespedia Globosa, Eucalyptus cinerea and 15 stems of banksias. To repeat the round base mechanic of the bark and to give volume, round spheres of small gumnuts were constructed. Arrangements were made with Terry(husband) to post a quantity of Banksia ericifolia, Banksia plagiocarpa and the large leaves from Banksia robur to reach the Fota Island Hotel by 10th May.

Contact was made with the Australian and UK Quarantine Authority’s to seek approval and authorization to import the plant materials into UK and Ireland(I would be leaving 3 weeks earlier), which was granted and a print out to this effect was taken with me when going into Manchester UK, and subsequently into Cork, Ireland.
Application to Etihad and Virgin Airlines for an extra baggage allowance was requested, which was granted for 15 extra kilos. Extras like the large sphere, two beautiful branches of fresh Hakea nuts, balls of copper/brown/orange bouncel wool to bind the frame work and various other mechanics needed were carried in personal 23kilo baggage allowance.

***Extra baggage allowance was pre paid to Ryan Air for the trip from Liverpool to Cork***

During the Thursday pre-set up, the design preparations commenced on binding the frame work (thanks Irene for your help), stems of Xanthorrhoea were bound with paper covered wire using the tatami technique, spheres were covered with sliced banksias and the Crespedia’s were strung together with copper wire.

The overall finished design, using different techniques conveyed a contemporary design, while using plant material indigenous to Australia.
** Delegates stayed at the Fota Island Hotel for the first three nights of their fantastic ‘Celtic Journey’. The 22 Country Exhibits were on display around the large mirrored function room where the Welcome Dinner was attended by delegates and the members of local Floral Art Groups. Next day these exhibits were open for viewing by members of The Association of Irish Floral Artists (AOIFA) and the public as well as the Competition Exhibits ‘Mysterious Nature’ staged in the Fota Island Golf Club. The competition was open to all members of AOIFA and as part of the Seminar programme judged by the International Judges.**

***Unfortunately I (and the exhibit) were not flying directly to Cork, but via Liverpool on a different airline, so a further booking was made from Liverpool to Cork using Ryan Air. Beware if travelling with Ryan Air – although the fares are cheap, they are an unscrupulous airline with no compromises. Paying for your baggage in advance works out allot cheaper, but make sure you are not over by even 1kg at the airport this will incur an extra charge of 20 English pounds a kilo.
Ryan Air cheap fares allow for 10kg on board baggage, but this must include all items such as handbag, camera etc and the baggage must fit into a certain size requirement (which is checked) pre departure at the boarding gate.
Ryan Air does not allow the combining of 2 pieces of baggage, for one weight. Each piece must be checked through separately and paid for individually
If you do not take a printed ticket to the check-in a charge of 40 English pounds will apply, so make sure you take your printer with you!!!!! Or make arrangements to have your ticket printed out, self-service kiosk or ticket desk is available 40 minutes prior to the schedule flight departure. Read the small print on your travel documents.

On this note we would like to thank the Australian Floral Art Association Members for nominating us to design and execute the Australian Exhibit at the WAFA Seminar in Ireland, it was indeed a great honour and learning curve, we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Mary Sweeny OAM
Incoming AFAA Minute Secretary 2012-2015 Patsy Stamp

WAFA Ireland Hon Ex Design info

WAFA USA Australian Honorary Exhibit

jean pene australian


Report by Jean Shine

It was truly an honor to design the 10th World Flower Shows’ “Australian Exhibit”, with support from Penelope Brunning. The design was of a European Influence. We used an aluminium frame which we took from home; a plastic dish made from black plastic was used to hold wet oais for the base.

We took Eucalyptus Cassia (Silver Princess) stems with some leaves & fruit attached. Also 100 nuts threaded, some hanging from the underneath of the top design placement, with others on rod stacked up from the lower design area. Also from home we took bark, Banksia Grandis sliced pieces, Xanthorrhoea dried sticks, hardienbergia comptoniana vine which gave lovely space within the design.

We purchased some dried Banksia Hookeriana candles, Basksia Menziesii & Banksia Coccinea from Wafex in Perth. Armed with lots of good advice and the appropriate Aquis Export permits we passed through the Los Angeles quarantine and Customs without losing any of our plant material. The exotic flowers were purchased in Boston.

The completed design stood 280 cm high on a grey base and backboard with AUSTRALIA printed across the top.

WAFA USA Australian Demonstration

eileen demo

eileens demo detail 2



International Demonstration – My Home Land
Report compiled by Eileen Wenn

I felt honoured and proud, along with the other 4 invited representatives from Pakistan, Belgium, Canada and Ireland to present the Demonstration ‘My Homeland’ on behalf of the Australian Floral Art Association at the 10th WAFA World Show, in Boston June, 2011. Mrs. Penny Horne of the WAFA US MC was the demonstration coordinator and she was very helpful with information and assistance over the many months of preparation.
Inspiration for my design, the contrasts and rich colour of our country, came very early and so it was a work in progress then to pull the elements together, with careful consideration of excess baggage and importation of our Australian Plant Material to Boston.

While I did try to seek some sponsorship of the Native Flowers and cheaper excess baggage rates, it was not forthcoming due to the economical climate. However the suppliers and AQIS were all very supportive and interested in assisting.
So with an aluminium frame weighing 7kgs, seven 2 metres 40 planks wound in Blue Gum coloured yarn weighing 13kgs, a box a dried Banksia, fresh Silver Princess gum and Cordyline Australis I arrived in Boston to find all boxes had been held over at Los Angeles for Security Checks. The boxes were delivered to the Seaport Hotel the next afternoon as promised by the airport staff.

Tropical Anthuriums, orchids, gingers, lucadendrons, roses and other flowers chosen for their contrast to our native material in texture and colour were purchased at the Boston Markets. Oasis USA kindly sponsored the Oasis requirements for this demonstration.

I made of power point of Australian Icons including each capital city, our wildflowers, animals and marsupials, beaches and landscapes to be screened during the demo with the music of artists Gurramul and Xavier Rudd who both feature indigenous sounds including didgeridoo in their music.
The three days of preparation was a special time to meet the other Demonstrators and share our friendship through floral designs.

“My Homeland’ Demonstration was a ‘sell out’ weeks before the show with Flower Arrangers from all over the world. With careful planing, preparation and the assistance of Dianne, I was confident and had fun presenting the Contrasts of our Land with stories to tell along the way. I felt happy and proud of the finished design and received many complements over the week.

I would like to thank the AFAA Members for their confidence in voting me as their representative for the demonstration at the World Show.

I sincerely thank the WA Floral Art Society for their financial support of $500 towards the costs to present the demo. This was much appreciated as the allowance given by WAFA US to the demonstrators to represent their country does not go close to covering the costs involved in staging a large scale stage design to fit an area 6ft x 6 ft.
Thanks to Dianne Buckles for her time and assistance for the demonstration, Jean Shine, my floral buddy for the fun times we had collecting and gathering our Australian Plant material at home and special thanks to my husband, Doug and my family for all their assistance to make props and the power point and their ongoing support of my passion for Floral Art.



intenational demos


intnl demo