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Floral Design

                                 Illuminary Designs By Martha Allen

Illuminary designs incorporate some kind of light in the design. It must not dominate the design, but must be an integral part of the design. Lights may be incorporated into the overall design by placing them over, underneath, behind or within containers. It cannot just be a spot light shining on the front of the design. 

In one design I got an old commercial letter design that has interior bulbs lighting it from inside. The photo doesn’t show exactly how the design looked because it simply looked like a glowing red “U. The photos show spots of brighter light where the bulbs were placed. I took some of them out so the big U wouldn’t dominate the total design. Using birds of paradise, which are by their nature large and bright, seemed to balance with the light feature.  See Below:


In the second design, I used a string of Christmas white lights and twisted them into a large piece of drift wood. I could make the lights blink or not, or pulsate, or just shine. Each effect seemed to work, but the wood was heavy and large and so the lights didn’t overpower the piece. See below:


In the third piece I used a small light inside a clear box and let the light shine up through the design that was placed on the box. This design works best with a background or in a niche, I think. See below:


There are literally dozens of different lighting options now, what with new bulbs, battery powered lights and decorations. Lights come in all sizes. I have used some in a miniature design using a small frame. The handbook also points out that electrical codes must be honored wherever the design is placed and cool lights are less harmful to plant material. The lighting cannot overwhelm the design but must enhance it. And, remember at all times that because these are lighted designs, shadows play an important part in the overall look. I would highly recommend that you try working with light and enter a design class at a show. It’s a lot of fun and adds a new element to floral work.

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