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Tips & Techniques Episode 2!

Planning video episodes isn’t easy…

There’s so much to share that its hard to single out a technique to feature!

For Hitomi’s Tips and Techniques Episode 2, I decided to share one of my favorite Beargrass technique, Nouveau Style.

Beargrass is a common name for Xerophyllum tenax. It is most often used in designs in small bundles, bound with a quick twist of bindwire (Smithers-Oasis product: paper-covered wire). The only tip here is that when you create this bundle, you need to stack the base of grass all in same direction. I call it Nouveau* style because the result of wrapping the tip ends with bullion wire (Smithers-Oasis product: the thinnest, crinkly, decorative wire that comes on spool) creates a beautiful metallic twistable line that can easily be shaped gracefully into tendrils or to create whiplash effect. This artistic grass treatment can be very expressive when used with nature’s hands*. The exposed bundle of grass (the bottom half) form a slitted surface through which stems of flowers can be woven to hold in place.

I love this technique because it is a multi-tasker. It is decorative, at the same time it can be functional. This technique makes way for linear stems of flowers to weave through it and then interweave for a beautiful cursive composition.

This is also a good option when you want more than a grass effect out of beargrass – to get more surface out of the thin pieces, by massing them together into a bigger leaf size. In competitions, it is vital to have knowledge of various options for material.

Nouveau* – Nouveau refers to an open form design when its components reach out with its growing tips without closing off. The design is transparent, or have negative spaces, with linear elements left visible. I like to call this type of design, Nouveau design (as in Art Nouveau).

Nature’s hands* – naturalistically; mimicking the ways of nature; allowing it to be shaped as it might in nature.

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