Chicken wire used as a mechanic…it’s nothing new, in fact it’s pretty old school. I remember my mom sharing stories of day’s gone by when chicken wire was used daily in the flowershop — before floral foam was created.
Recently, the use of chicken wire was re-introduced by Holly Heider Chapple with her “egg” mechanic. A rather ingenious concept which improved a mediocre technique that ultimately shifted how we as an industry design. Now, no one is going to make her trademark egg the way she makes it, however, the key to this mechanic is that the stems go through two layers of hexagonal gaps which help the flora to stay in place impeccably well.
Ironically, chicken wire is not even the material that we as florists should be using. Chicken wire from the hardware store is made of galvanized steel which if comes in contact with water will discolor the water (resulting in tinging white flowers a weird color) and ultimately it rusts. In addition, it’s rough on the stems and our fingers as its relatively sharp.
So, what do you use? It looks just like chicken wire but its called florist netting available from Oasis Floral Products. There are other companies that make a similar product – but buyer beware, you are looking for a product that is coated in a plasticized material NOT painted green.
The best way to familiarize yourself with this design mechanic is to practice. So get going, and maybe I’ll post a video showing my adaptation of this concept inspired by Holly.