FADAN invited Hendra Gouws of Limpopo to come to Durban to do a demonstration for us and despite her hectic schedule, and having just been here two weeks ago to judge at Floriate, Hendra very kindly agreed!
And what a show it was, definitely your loss if you missed it. Hendra, thank you for sharing all your amazing techniques and knowledge with us and for showing us that doing floral displays need not cost a fortune. With clever planning and of course the visiting of friends gardens, we are all very fortunate in this country with our abundant selection of plant material all year round to be able to create with the most costly component being our time!
Hendra's first design which she called 'The Braai' - very South African and a topic we are all very well versed in, started with some blackened wood pieces from her garden which had been burnt. To this she added beautiful clivia, some aloe flowers and a striking heliconia which was placed in front of a large circle which had been woven/strung with yellow, red and orange wool. To complete the design some kalanchoe leaves were added as well as some dried plant material and seeds. All these materials were gathered from gardens.
Next was a beautiful set of frames with very interesting woven patterns from tortured willow and various techniques learnt from Gregor Lersch and Mark Pampling. This was definitely a labour of love but again showing us the numerous ways in which we can incorporate the techniques that we have learnt into a stunning design.
Design number three was inspired by the frames from one of the competition classes at Floriate. To this Hendra added various circles, once again showing techniques that most of us have all learnt and using a minimal amount of flowers created an interesting design.
The TV - Hendra's name for this design using a play on squares and rectangles, with minimal plant material and yet achieving a harmonius design of line and rhythm. The strings of squares and the larger ones attached to the sides of the metal frame were all cut from palm spathes and attached onto skewers. Anthurium, ligularia, sansevieria and flax were the foliage components with the beautiful anthurium flowers.
This design with its energetic bold and bright colours started with another labour of love with many hours spent weaving the red crescent shaped mechanic which was secured to a wire frame attached to a tall glass vase filled with water to stabilise it. Once again gardens were raided and beautiful ligularia and anthurium leaves and flowers were used together with strands of wool, some bottle brush, tillandsia and staghorn leaves. To this Hendra added some interesting little nests that she had woven as well as a little spider webb to complete the garden design.
And of course you cant come to Durban and not do a sea themed design!
Using borrowed shells filled with all things beautful and colourful Hendra wowed us once again. The fish that she added were also made from palm spathes.
Thank you Hendra for such an inspiring morning! Your attention to detail is awesome as is your use of techniques in such original ways. Your bold and bright colours were refreshing and certainly lifted our spirits! We hope you enjoyed your stay with us as much as we enjoyed having you.
Thank you to Pam Harvey and Snooks Cole for assisting Hendra not only on stage, but with all the beautiful plant material from your gardens.