Floristry 101 - How to Use a Floral Knife (class no. 4) | Deb Jasinski | Skillshare

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Floristry 101 - How to Use a Floral Knife (class no. 4)

teacher avatar Deb Jasinski, Floral Designer #flowerobsessed

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Why Does a Florist Use a Knife

    • 3. Choosing the Right Knife

    • 4. Cutting Soft Stems

    • 5. Cutting Woody Stems

    • 6. SLOW MO CUT!

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About This Class

Have you ever wondered why floral designers use a knife for the majority of  their designing?  Have you often wanted to try using a knife but felt intimidated?  This class is going to take you through the "ins" and "outs" of proper knife techniques, when to use a knife versus floral shears, and what kind of knife to choose.

Meet Your Teacher

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Deb Jasinski

Floral Designer #flowerobsessed


Hello, I'm Deb.  I've worked in the floral design industry for nearly thirty years.  You could definitely say that I am flower obsessed!  I am most passionate about teaching floral design.  Sharing with students how to open their creative eyes to all that nature has to offer is an integral part of my teaching practice.  It's essential to get outdoors and really notice our natural surroundings on a more macro and intimate level in order to mimic nature in a floral composition.  Join me on this flower journey and become flower obsessed too!

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1. Welcome!: Hi. Welcome to forestry 101 How to use a floral knife during this thing. This episode we're going to discuss Flores Tree and the use of knives in it. We're going to discuss or cover rather three things. The first thing we're gonna do is talk about why a knife and I get that question asked all the time. Why does Forest use a knife? So we're definitely going to talk about the pros and cons of using a knife. The second question that I get a lot is what kind of knife. So I'm gonna go through all of the different options with you and discuss you know, what's the beginner level knife versus something that's a little bit more worth the investment If you decide that you want to continue to use a knife during your designs and the third thing we're gonna tackle is actually how to handle and hold the knife and how to cut with the knife. Now, if using a knife is something that brings you a lot of anxiety, fear you need to respect that. Not everybody needs to use a knife when they designed. I know lots of designers that don't use a knife, and that is OK. There definitely pros and cons to using a night. But there is no hard and fast rule saying that if you want to be a florist, you have to use a knife. So if your gut instinct is telling you, I don't think I'm quite ready for this. Then you need over that and just watch this video for the sake of learning, and then when you feel a little bit more comfortable and you're ready to dive into using a knife, then you can watch this video again. 2. Why Does a Florist Use a Knife: Okay, So the first thing I want to tackle is why? Why use a knife? And that's probably a question I get asked the most from people. What is the benefit of a knife versus um, a pair of cutters? So when you're using a knife, you are able to create a very clean, very sharp, pressure free cut on a flower. So that's really the most important reason when you're using a knife. If you're cutting something that's very soft and fleshy, you are able to create a slice right through that soft, fleshy stem without having to worry about squishing it way you may with a pair of cutters, particularly if the cutters or dull um, by squishing it, you are going to You are going to alter and break down the cellular structure of the stem, which then will prevent the water from getting from a to B. Now, if you have watched any of my previous videos, particularly the one of processing flowers, I do mention that there. So there is definitely pros and cons to using these. When you're cutting flowers, um, mainly its damage. The number two reason why I use a knife is because I keep the knife in my hand the entire time that I'm designing. So I'm cutting and then I'm inserting and I'm cutting. And then I'm inserting and so I never have to put my knife down. I've always got it available to me in my hand. And what that actually does is it expedites the whole design process. When you're working in a retail environment where you're paid by the hour, time is money and you need to prove to yourself or to your boss or other that you could do this quickly. And if you have cutters in your hand, you cut and then you have to put down and insert the flower on you to pick him up again. Cut, put down. Insert the flower. So by doing this, it is something that you could do constantly without pausing in between. And it will get you to finish your design. Peace. Ah, lot quicker. And time is money, especially when you're doing a set up on a wedding venue. And you know that the guests are arriving in two and you literally have 1/2 an hour to put together a really beautiful arch and you're up on a ladder and you don't even have a place to set down your cutters when you're up there. So you literally are cutting and putting things in and cutting and putting things in. So it really becomes appendage when it's in your hand like this. And so if you do want to learn how to do this, keep that in mind. It will certainly help to speed up your process. So that's why we do it. We do it for the clean cut and for the speed. 3. Choosing the Right Knife: Okay, so now we can talk about the different kinds of knives. And what sort of, um, knife would be considered a beginner level if you're wanting to train on versus something that would be worth a little bit more money. So I've got this box, and it is something that comes with me everywhere I go, and it's full of my jewels. And I have every shape and size of possible life in here because I have moved progressively through the nights and found the one that works perfect for me. The one that works perfectly for me is not necessarily the one that you're going to prefer . So I'm gonna present you with all of the different knives that I have in here on day. Uh, maybe you'll be able to hone in on one that you really like. I was like to have spares to you, because sometimes knives just go missing, or sometimes there will be somebody on site that doesn't have one, and then you can be the hero and prepare one. So I got a lot of stuff in here when you begin floral design. This is the type of knife that you are more than likely going to be introduced to if you take begin a lot. Of course. One of these guys or one of these guys. And you can see that in terms of the actual shape of the handle, they're pretty pretty identical. Okay, The only difference is the actual blade itself. So this one here has a straight blade. This one here has a curved blade. I'm gonna be honest with you. I don't really know why this is curved. I don't see what the benefit is, except maybe if you need to get into a little nook or cranny and cut something off. The tip of the blade is a little bit finer, so you can kind of get in there. So round straight choice is completely up to you. I find that I have a tendency to go for a straight playoff simply because it's a lot easier to sharpen a straight laid than it iss a curved blade. And I like a really sharp knife. It's just like a hair stylist. He's got scissors there. Scissors. I need to be really sharp in order for them to do a great job and so, therefore tend to gravitate towards straight laid simply because I can pass it over Scharping stone easily, and I can get this baby back up and running. This one is a little bit trickier, but maybe maybe you're handy with sharpening stone, and the cursed one works well for you, too. So in terms of the difference, it's really just a personal preference. The plastic blades, also where the plastic handles tend to be a little bit thinner and thin is good, particularly if you have a small hand. Sometimes having something really big and bulky to hold on to can impede your ability to hold on to it for for a long time while you're designing, um, some people prefer something a little bit bulkier because they feel more secure, having something a bit bigger in their hand. So these guys, like a son, tend to be thin, and then your blade is going to be sure or straight. I also find the The plastic is a little bit slippery for me, and I like something that's got a bit more grip, and you can find these kinds of knives as well that have rubberized handles so that it's must likely your hands or get personal preference in terms of the type of knife that you want to use. I actually don't really use either this kind of gonna show you some other options. Yeah, So this is my blade. I have several with these. I keep one of my purse. I keep one of my chilled box. I've got one of my car because you just never know when you're gonna need a knife, and this is actually a wooden handle, and it's got a really nice curve to it, So I find that it fits nice and Cushnie in my hand. It's got a safety on it so I can turn that, and it's actually it's a camping knife. It's not even a floral life. The company, every thought is have to lock in position so that it stays where it's supposed to. Um, it's open all and they make a whole line of different camping knives with different lengths . Blaine's and I love this because I love having a blade that I can put easily into my purse or wherever an object worry about getting stabbed. But that folds up. I'm not. All folding knives are created equally and you'll notice As you begin doing floral design, you're going to notice that the majority of the cuts that you make are made on this part of the knife, not the tip. You can even notice the way my neck has been sharpened over time. And this one's fairly is. It hasn't been sharpened to too many times, but you can notice that it actually goes in a little bit here because it has been used so many times. There's actually the tip where it used to be. So there's a pretty decent amount of this night missing. But anyways, this is the part that gets used the most. And so, um, I love this particular kind of knife because none of the knife is jeopardized in folding mechanism. So you get the full length of the blade. I'm gonna show you what I So this is a knife, actually a folding knife, and it's by the oasis brand. So this is specifically met four floral design, but will be perfect, Perfectly honest. Um, I'm not crazy about this knife, because if you notice there is a large piece of the blade taken away because of the folding mechanism on Like I said, the majority of the cuts that we do are on this part of the knife, and this isn't even blade. So I feel like I'm not able to hold the knife where it wanted to be, because I need to use my blade further up the knife. And therefore I need to hold my knife differently from what I'm comfortable with. And therefore I feel like my safety is jeopardized. Now perhaps this will work for you because maybe you'll want to hold your knife a little bit further down the actual handle. And so that's OK or further up to handle. It's all personal preference. So again, I'm not saying that this knife isn't great. I know lots of designers that use this. I personally just feel like there's a lot of blade missing on there. OK, so there we go. We've got folding knives, we've got straight knives, we've got camping knives and I'm all for the camping knife 4. Cutting Soft Stems: Okay, so I have the camera set up. So as though you're looking over my shoulder because it's really important for you to see what I'm doing with my hand and how I'm holding the knife. OK, so I'm gonna actually use my knife simply because it's the one that I'm the most comfortable with. So I'm just gonna open it up, and I'm going to put the locking mechanism on so that it stays in place. I'm right handed, so if you are left handed, it is basically the same thing. Only you're holding it. In the other hand, there is no difference in terms of how you're gonna hold the knife. You just need to reverse it. Okay, so this is the area where you're going to be holding your knife, OK? Right across, um, base of your finger joints. And so, um, I actually get a lot of I have calluses along here because I've got my night sitting in here. I also get a lot of cysts and things in there from constant, the constant banging. It's sort of one of those things that just kind of happens when you're in this industry. So what? I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take my knife. I'm gonna lay it across right here, right there. Okay, That's where it's going to be. And you'll notice that it is actually parallel to my thumb. Okay, I'm gonna hold it, and then I'm gonna curl my fingers around it, keeping it parallel with my thumb. Does everybody see there's lots of space in between here, Okay, these fingers are actually going to lock into place so you can see that I've got all sorts of sinuous stuff going on here. My muscles are very much engaged because I'm holding onto this knife very strongly. You need to respect the knife. You need to hold on to it, and you need to hold on to it tight. OK, so it's in here. So why I like a thicker knife so that I feel like I can grip it just that much tighter. Okay, so basically, get this in the view Here. Knife, thumb parallel. Okay. I'm just gonna turn my hand over this way so you can see it from this direction. This is what you're gonna see. Okay. This is how it looks again. You can see my knuckles. Nice and white because I'm engaging those muscles and the thumb sticking straight out the blade also sticking straight out. Okay. And they're parallel. So this is what you need to get used to doing when you're holding onto your florist knife. OK, well, we're not doing is peeling potatoes where we're moving, potato, and we're moving the knife. That is not what we're doing. See how I met my hands air going in and out as though I'm peeling a potato. Not doing that. We are locking her hand into position. We're keeping our thumb parallel to the knife, engaging those muscles. See, if you were to be lax, you're gonna cut yourself. You need to be strong and parallel, and then you're gonna flip it around. And this is how we're going to cut. We're not doing this. This is locked. You're holding it tight. Now I have a stem here. This is a very nice soft stem. It's a daisy. It's a good one to start with. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to lock my hand into position like that, Okay? Right there. And then I'm gonna put Daisy right here on this fleshy part of my hand. That's why every florist, you know, if you look at their hand, has all sorts of, uh, staining and dry skin because we use this part of our hand as part of the leverage for cutting. Okay, so, yeah, it gets a little bit ugly and stained over the years. Okay, so, again, knife grab, parallel. Your knife blade is pointing at your thumb. You're gonna put your flower right there. Okay? Right on that fleshy part. And then I'm gonna turn my blade so that it's facing at a bit of an angle. It's not perpendicular to my flower. It's more of a 45. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to move my entire arm back. Watch. This was the motion. This hand moved back. This hand and arm moves forward, some pulling the flower through the blade. There is none of this. My hand is completely locked. I'm gonna do that again. Um, now the flower is gonna rest on here simply as a resting point. It's not for me to push up on. I don't want to break the stem. I just want it to have a resting point. So I'm turning my knife at a 45 degree angle and then I'm gonna pull the flower hand away from me, and I'm gonna pull the knife hand towards me. That's the action. So my thumb didn't move at all, So it's impossible to cut yourself if you don't move your thumb. If you move your thumb, there's a big chance you're gonna cut yourself. Your hand absolutely has to be locked into position. If you never move your thumb and this is what you're doing. You can't cut yourself because it's locked in position. The only movement are your arms. So watch there, there, there, there. Shorter, shorter. And you'll notice that never did my hand move. Just my arms. Okay, so that's how we cut a nice, fleshy stem. That's where I recommend that you start cutting from is something soft like a daisy, and then work your way up. Oh, 5. Cutting Woody Stems: once you're comfortable with the process, then you could move up to something a little bit more Woody like a rose. I wouldn't go any woodier than arose with a knife, because then you're gonna end up, um, dulling your blade or putting yourself in danger because it is very, very thick and hard, and it could slip out of your hands. So the roses about as as, um, what you're gonna want to get again. The process is exactly the same. Make sure there's nobody in front of you. Because when you go to cut this, of course, because it's quite Woody, your hand is gonna propel forward. And so if somebody's there, they're likely going. Teoh, get this little rose bud in the back. So there it's giving us a nice, sharp, clean cut with the knife. 6. SLOW MO CUT!: Okay, So just for fun, I have attached a slow motion video of me cutting a carnation. The video has been taken from behind, so you'll be able to get a really sense of how I'm moving. You'll notice that my hand is completely anchored and frozen and the movement is simply my arm. So if you were table to quite catch onto the process before because things were moving a little bit, she quickly This should definitely help to clear things up.