Thursday, January 7, 2016

In the shop: Tools of the trade

There are some basic essentials that I can't work without, tools that I reach for time and again as I ply my trade in the shop.  They aren't high tech and are certainly not glamourous, but these are the items that are in my tool kit always.

tools of the trade for florists via periwinkle flowers
 First up, I'm a classically trained florist which means I cut oldschool, with a sharp knife. I was taught that clippers should never be used on flower stems, they pinch the cell ends together and disrupt water uptake (leading to shorter life span in a vase).  I used to be rather strict about it with freelancers, but in recent years have come to accept that many florists now are clippers only.  I will always be a knife wielder.  The red handled knife is actually the same one I've used since I trained, over 20 years ago.  It folds down, holds a sharp edge well and travels with me every where.  This leads to some interesting conversations when I forget it is in my purse going through security at airports and the like. The grey handled knife is the one I use most in the shop.  It has a nice amount of heft to the handle which makes it comfortable to work with for long periods of time.

Clippers get used for anything I can't cut easily with a knife.  It makes no sense to hack away at tougher woody stems and branches, you end up doing more cell damage, so those take a swift clean cut from these clippers.  This simple type has been a long time favourite, as one that lasts well and cuts most stems easily.

Ribbon scissors get the most use during wedding season.  This pair has held up well, but I tend to go through these faster than any other tool I use.  A few absent minded snips on something other than ribbon and these get dull and useless.

I use simple garden twine to tie my posies and bouquets with.  Nothing fancy, I buy mine at the dollar store. A paddle wire has many uses, most especially I use this for garlands and wreaths but it is great for corsages in a pinch. I prefer a paddle wire to a spool, as it is less likely to roll off the work bench and get lost in the sea of leaves on the floor.  And florist tape is a tape that binds flower stems together, you stretch it slightly which makes it hold onto itself tightly as you wrap it around and on top of itself.  I prefer the plastic type, but there is also a paper one available. That one makes me mental  as I find it dries out a bit and then snaps easily.

florist tools via periwinkle flowers
And there you have it, Trapped on a desert island with this small collection of tools, I could indeed whip up a floral masterpiece for you, no question!


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