Completed I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Shade learns a little floral design.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Postby Shade on August 31st, 2022, 3:03 pm

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23rd of Summer 522 A.V.


There was such a thing as a crash course in floristry. Shade was knee deep in one because as much as he loved the idea of a flower shop combined with a jewelry store, there was a lot to learn before one became a ‘florist’ per say. Jewelry was easy. He already quite knew a lot about that. But arranging flowers took a knowledge base he simply didn’t have. But he sold the Founders on his dream business, and it was time he got busy and learned a trade he thought would be an important maybe not for the future of Syka but for the future aesthetic of Syka.

Shade had a notebook, more of a journal than anything, that one of the top florists at The Outpost - Otto - had traded him time with his notes for some rare flowers the florist needed to secure a customer of great importance. A favor here, a favor there, and the Innkeeper sending Ixam’s out to gather what was needed was all it took for him to get his hands on the notebook. It wasn’t his to keep, of course, but it was notes for him to study and things for him to think about as he was learning his floristry. And one of the first sections talked about the reason for flowers were given and exchanged among humans and other cultures.

It turned out, according to Otto’s philosophy, flowers flat-out represented the emotions that loved ones expressed to each other. Sometimes people couldn’t say things with words… and in those times, flowers could speak volumes. It varied from type to type of flower, but often even a singularly picked wildflower would convey heartfelt emotions ranging from love to sorry to just a slight wish for a good day. They could cheer the sick, and be gifted to mark special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays.

Flowers conveyed people’s deepest sentiments. There were emotions that flowers made people feel. They created experiences amongst people that lead to physical enjoyment just by having them around. And the beauty of gifting flowers was that they not only conveyed emotion to someone, but they produced instant happiness in the person gifting the flowers… so both sides won. Shade was fascinated by this fact and it was the reason he was willing to learn so much about actually crafting flower arrangements.

Otto’s notebook also talked about the history of gifting flowers. It turned out that the gift of various forms of flowers was a significant element of social traditions throughout the world. The mythos of Mizahar was rife with flowers representing specific gods and goddesses. And even with that in mind, certain deities were assigned flowers to represent them… such as Cheva owning the corner of the market on Roses, the flower of love. Dried flowers were found in some of the oldest tombs. And they are often painted as arrangements in pre-Valterrian art as either a subject of the painting itself or backdrops to portraits.

A notebook was brought out and Shade started taking his own notes from Otto’s lessons. There was no way he was going to remember all the man had to say in one sitting and the journal wasn’t his to keep… it was just on loan. So he wanted some of the key points noted down for later when the journal was unavailable and he wanted to refresh his memory on what something meant if all he could remember was a key point or keyword.


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Last edited by Shade on December 1st, 2022, 4:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
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I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Postby Shade on December 1st, 2022, 3:59 am

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Shade would get back to the meaning of flowers at a later time. He was curious, and although everyone probably knew the Rose as Cheva’s flowers. There was still a lot of discussion about what the colors of various flowers meant, what arrangements meant depending upon design, and even how flowers were delivered conveyed meanings. The author indicated that he even knew that in some cultures, flowers delivered and presented upside down meant extreme anger was felt by the giver of the flowers towards the recipient. Shade figured it was probably easier to just go talk it out, but in a complex society that wasn’t always possible… so flowers were sent.

It was all very confusing, but Shade was determined to learn. After all, if he wanted to be the local florist and jeweler, he’d have to understand his flower trivia as much as he understood his gem trivia. Stones had meanings too. And Shadekas figured that the combination of both knowledge could indicate powerful things. So, for once, he was sitting on the deck of The Protea, drinking some sort of odd mango pineapple banana … smoothie? It was something cold and blended with ice, and studying his book.

Shade took diligent notes, also taking the time to add in some examples – including reminding himself to figure out the meaning of flowers, and colors, and try to merge them into his business.

Floristry it was…. and floristry he’d learn. It was far more than the simple art of flower arranging. Creating the floral arrangements wasn’t the end or beginning of floristry, but rather just a simple start. In addition, the care and handling of flowers were encouraged to be mastered, as their preservation, along with sales and display of the flowers, including flower delivery. Shade wasn’t worried about most of that. As he’d already decided early on, he’d educate himself in every aspect of his trade he could. And he’d do a thorough job of it. But there was a lot he had to learn initially about flowers before he could actually run his floral business side. The lores and symbolism of flowers would come in handy. So too would color meanings, holidays, and what types of flowers are used for what occasions. It was a lot, but he was going to tackle it. And Otto’s notebook was going to help.

Otto’s notebook started out with the three most common styles of floristry. They were High Style, Formal Garden, and Ikebana. High Style was most popular around Syliras and characterized by symmetry, negative space, and linear designs. Formal Garden was popular in Riverfall and further south. That style consisted of the use of seasonal and garden flowers in large displays meant to be viewed from all angles. Ikebana was a style that originated in Lhavit and included triangular arrangements of simple beauty. Shade nodded to himself, knowing he could potentially do all three.

From there, Otto delved into the seven key principles of floral design. Before he got into the seven though, he touched on a few deeper meanings in his notes. Shade appreciated what he said, for Otto believed in every move a florist made being intentional and every step being thought of as the ‘design process as opposed to doing things randomly and hoping for the best. Every stem pressed into a florist’s arrangement should have a purpose, a meaning, and there was magic in doing so, according to the man.

Jewelcrafting was like that, truth be told. There wasn’t much difference. One involved metal and stone, and one florals. Shade nodded to himself. He could do this.



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Shade
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I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Postby Shade on December 1st, 2022, 4:02 am

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So, the first principle was balance. And balance, of course, involved physical and visual balance. Shade thought about that a moment. The physical balance had to refer to the weight distribution of the physical materials in the overall floral arrangement. That made sense. It was the same with jewelry. Weight should be evenly distributed on either side of an imaginary central axis. Flowers and foliage should be arranged and balanced to have a stable structure that could be kept upright and not fall over. Shade grinned. That made perfect sense. Visual balance, on the other hand, was confusing. Otto noted that it was the balance perceived by our eyes. But how did the eye view balance? Shade furrowed his brow in confusion and scratched his head.

Otto, thankfully, explained. There were symmetrical and asymmetrical balances. It turned out that symmetrical balance was achieved by having the same quantity of similar materials on either side of that same invisible central axis. Symmetrical balance was used in formal settings. Asymmetrical balance was achieved by having different elements arranged around an imaginary axis but with equal visual weight on either side to maintain a sense of balance. These off-kilter types of arrangements were considered stylish, modern, and informal.

The second principle of floral design or floristry was scale. Otto noted that scale could be interpreted two ways, but that both were relevant. The first interpretation was about the size relationships of the floral design to its settings or surrounding area. Shade thought about that a moment. Having a tiny flower arrangement on a huge table, for example, was not good… nor was having a huge arrangement on a tiny table. The size needed to be relevant and suitable for the setting.

But scale could also relate to the use of a variety of sizes, colors, and textures to achieve graduation from one end of the spectrum to another. Otto went on to explain in his writing that size usually was arranged from small to big, while color was arranged from light to dark. Texture, conversely, could be arranged from soft to hard. Graduation was critical. Shade wrote that down, grabbing a blank journal he’d picked up from Juli’s Mercantile. He might as well start taking notes, he decided.

Another principle was proportion. While scale and proportion were closely related, they were different. Scale focused on the size of the floral arrangement relative to its setting and surrounding, but proportion focused on the size relationship between one part of a floral design to another. In other words, the size of the flowers, foliage, and accessories should all be complimentary to each other. There shouldn’t be more containers than floral material and the floral container shouldn’t be utterly overwhelmed by its contents.

Similarly, the height of the arrangement should be proportionate to the width always. One could throw off one element of design and utterly ruin a piece. Conversely, if all the principles were followed, one was apt to have a work of art. Shade noted that down, adding in some sketches that he copied from Otto’s work. Containers, it seemed, held a place of importance. And that was one thing Shade was going to need to do… head into The Outpost and do some serious bargain shopping for second-hand containers to arrange flowers in.


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Shade
The Black Opal.
 
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I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Postby Shade on December 1st, 2022, 4:04 am

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He had very few supplies and he needed to stock up. Much of what was done with flower arranging could be done with tools he had for Jewelcrafting, and happily enough many of the things he needed he could make himself – such as a wire. The rest… he’d have to get supplied. And he was willing to do that, thankfully, because he had sources in Otto and other florists at The Outpost.

Pulling his attention back to the seven principles, Shade marked a note down as to what principle number four was. Dominance/Emphasis. It was a complex concept. But most floral designs should have a focal point that is usually the main feature. It was to draw the eye into. But one had to highlight or showcase what was the focal point by carefully crafted design details in the form of colors being sharply contrasting… materials being in sharp contrast, or even texture contrasting.

So one element must be chosen, and the rest must be different and completely highlighting and showcasing the first. It all made sense to Shade. He had cut flowers by the armloads, but unless he made a symmetrical fancy garden-style bouquet, he was going to have to do what Otto already suggested… place each stem deliberately and with intent.

The fifth principle was noted to be Rhythm. This term referred to the visual flow or movement in the arrangement. It seemed artists could trick people’s eyes into focusing and being attracted to the central show-stopper focal point and then being carried throughout the entire arrangement quite involuntarily. You drew the eye in with your arrangements then your arrangements were first-rate and top-notch. One could even lead the eye left then right, then back again, depending on how the arrangement was done and what the florists' desire was. It was a powerful heady thought. Shade wondered how many feelings could have been soothed by the right arrangement. It seemed pretty critical to him that he not let the arrangement be so chaotic as to lose the eye altogether. Would people then dislike the arrangement and not exactly be able to say why? His lips curled upwards in pleasure. He was going to enjoy speaking the language of flowers.

There were only two more principles left. Shade couldn’t for the life of him guess what they were. He ran his finger down the journal, carefully read Otto’s hand writing, and shook his head. “Contrast?” Shade said out loud and noted it down in his journal.

“Contrast can be achieved by the placement of two different or opposite elements together.” He muttered, then wrote that passage down. The whole point was to emphasize or accentuate differences in color, shape, dynamic, and all the like then to celebrate that in flowers. Contrast always allowed a feature of the floral design to stand out. It was actually not that difference from Dominance. Contrast could be applied to all the same design elements like forms, colors, sizes and finally the textures of the flowers and foliage.


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Shade
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I'm Man Enough For Flowers

Postby Shade on December 1st, 2022, 4:06 am

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Then, finally, the last principle was harmony. It was not exactly something Otto listed as its own element. It was more the broader picture or outcome of the previous six guiding principles. All the first six principles had to work together, had to form harmony.

Otto talked about the fact that sometimes each piece didn’t need all six principles applied to them… but rather three major principles if applied expertly and harmonized would make an incredible outcome. Shade ran his thumb down the page and nodded. Yes… he could see that. It made a lot of sense to him as an artisan of jewelry as well. So with the principles down, he was itching to get to doing some arrangements, but first, he needed to figure out what kind of equipment he would need.

Otto gave him clues already in knowing that he’d have to go on a massive ‘container’ hunt to find suitable things for him to put his arrangements in. They needed to be decorative pieces that looked nice but weren’t expensive. They’d have to be heavy enough to hold up full symmetrical and asymmetrical arrangements, but cheap enough to not actually burden the buyer with the cost.

Shade figured that meant hunting the secondary market in The Outpost for used unwanted containers. And from what he was reading in Otto’s notes, almost anything would work from a woven basket to a clay pot to a metal urn. It sounded as if florists got creative and used what they had at hand and made them beautiful. That was more than alright with him.

The next part of floristry that Shade wanted to get into was the tools of the trade. He needed to make up a florist’s kit that would work in the shop for him on the florist side. That meant that he’d have to do some more research in Otto’s journal and probably visit him in his booth at The Open Sky Bazaar at The Outpost to see where to get most of the things he’d need if he already didn’t have them.

Shade put away his notebook, and Otto’s journal, and made plans to see the place the next day.

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User avatar
Shade
The Black Opal.
 
Posts: 205
Words: 198780
Joined roleplay: November 25th, 2011, 7:08 am
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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