|Vase is the term used for a container that
usually holds flowers. They can come in many guises from glass, metal,
pottery in its natural form, like terracota, painted in plain colours or
highly decoratively, and wood. They can come in several forms including
transparent, translucent and opaque, in a range of sizes from very
small, through narrow, suitable for single stems, to large both in height
and circumference. Another variation is their symmetry which can be straight
lines, textured, and many many colours. Their style can be from the modern
contemporary through to antiquity.
In the case of
glass vases we look for the things that makes glass sparkle like its
reflective qualities and the way it refracts and distorts light. We also pay
attention to the contrast levels which can be quite high with some work. The
colours often need to be bright whilst detail has to be sharp and clear.
Glass vases can be made in two ways
either by machines for the mass market or hand
blown, and these different methods will give different effects and anomalies
to consider. Some can be painted or decorated in other ways.
A vase can make or break a flower
arrangement so it is important to get it right. It should be selected with
care and always have in mind the overall effect you are trying to give
within the image. It should either contrast or harmonize the flowers and
foliage chosen for your design and be relevant.
Types of Vases
Before you choose
your vase, you’ve got to decide what you want out of it, how you are going
to display/photograph it and what type of flowers would go with it. Also
look at whether you want to portray a pretty picture and therefore need a
pretty, stylish one or is your image portraying the vases functionality, or
is it merely a support to the floral image.
Just keep one thing in mind – avoid using
an explosion of colourful flowers with a very decorative vase. It would
clash badly and the visual effect would be disastrous. Vases should always
“contrast or harmonise” with the flowers and foliage and not overpower the
focal point of your image. Nothing looks more elegant or chic than a simple
display of lilies in a tall glass container, or floating gerberas in a bowl
of water. For clear vases instead of water you could add colour petals, pebbles, coloured
glass or even sand of different hues for a more visual effect.
Tall vases look stunning with longer
flowers such as lilies, delphinium and gladioli interspersed with some
fabulous linear foliage or twigs.
Ceramic or china vases an old
favourite, but watch for any patterns on them, an over patterned vase will
distract from the flowers it is holding. Alternatively if you are able to
find the flowers that are in the design of the vase to include in it, then
the vase would become part of the image and make the overall picture. An
informal jug or pot, for example milk jugs, make for an unusual vase and are
very popular for holding a small display of country flowers.
Terracotta pots, which can be picked
up cheaply at garden centres, can be used for tied bunches of the majority of
flowers, as the warm colour enhances most types of bloom.
Metal containers offer different textures
and shine – brass, steel, wrought iron etc – and can complement and contrast
with the flowers.
Where to get
Generally we all have at least one vase around the home and many will have a
stock of different sized vases that have been collected over the years or we
have been given. When starting with a vase, rather than the flowers, it is
somewhat easier to go out with a shopping list for the right type of flower
to put in them. If you don't have any, then it doesn't have to cost you a
fortune to get some, you could ask family and friends for what they may have
to hand or you could pick up a variety of shapes and sizes for very little
cost from second hand shops, charity shops, car boot sales and jumble sales. If using the
second hand route, make sure the quality is still there watch out for
scratches, chips and nicks these potentially will bring down the quality of
your image if they are not able to be disguised.
In the high street department stores and
others stock vases from expensive ceramics to the mass produced.
centres and nurseries will have a selection and there are also wholesalers
who sell and/or hire to the floristry market. See this
link for some.
Wholesale Glass Vases can be hand blown and hand painted but they may also
have other items such as lily vases and coloured glass.
At the end of the day the choice of
vase/container you use is purely down to your personal choice and the design
of the image you are trying to achieve. However there are a couple of
practical points you should always remember. It seems an obvious thing to
say but always make sure your vase is waterproof, essential if you are using
fresh cut flowers. Also make sure it is not scratched or chipped, and
that it is clean.