Debra Prinzing

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Footed glass, circa 1978

July 14th, 2013

Side view of vases

It’s easy to find these not-quite-vintage and not quite-retro, but definitely collectible footed glass vases. I snagged the frosted pink one on eBay for $4.99 and found the green embossed one at my local Goodwill store for even less!

These vases have been identified as FTD florist vases, dated to 1978. The pattern is called “oak leaf” and I’ve found the two colors shown above as well as an amber-gold and milk-glass white, all with the raised embossed leaf pattern.

2 Vases

Getting ready by choosing flower frogs to fit inside the two vases.

The first time I used this charming green footed bowl in a demonstration, someone guessed it was Depression glass. There is that pressed-glass quality to these containers, but they’re newer. I like to think FTD was producing them in the U.S.A. and shipping them to mom-and-pop flower shops around the country at a time when those florists were still using predominantly American-grown flowers. The vases are so much more interesting and well made than most of the (probably) made-in-China stuff you see coming out of floral wire services these days. Keep your eyes out at the thrift store or surf on eBay, where I’ve found at least six or seven listings for idential and similar vessels.

I’ve written before about how much I love footed anything for floral arranging. Here is a recent post where I wax eloquently about footed vessels. Today, it was time to play with some flowers and see what I could create. By the way, here are the dimensions on these bowls: overall height, 5-1/2 inches; diameter, 5-1/4 inches; depth of bowl, 2-1/2 inches.

The shallow bowl does require some kind of device to stabilize stems. Back in the day, those 1978 florists were probably blithely cutting up chunks of foam to stick inside. But today we all know how unsafe it is to handle or use florist’s foam for its toxic attributes (formaldehyde being the active ingredient). So out came the metal frogs, as you can see in my bouquets below. Alternately, I could have shaped a section of chicken wire to fit inside, securing it with floral tape. Both methods are quite easy and eco!

Here is my first of two arrangements, using the green vase: 

Green Vase and Frog

Step One: Insert maroon dahlias into metal frog. Notice how I’ve cut the stems short so that the flower head snugs close to the rim of the vase. 


Magenta and Fuchsia

Step Two: After seven dahlias are arranged evenly throughout the opening, I added five lush fuchsia cockscomb celosias inbetween the darker flowers. 


Adding Alliums

Step Three: Insert four drumstick alliums for graphic punctuation. 


Adding Queen Anne's Lace

Step Four: Add Queen Anne’s Lace stems so they hover above the darker base of flowers. 


Green Final

Step Five: Finish off the bouquet with a few stems of gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides), a quirky accent that repeats the white from the QA Lace and brings a new texture into the design.

Here how I filled the pale pink frosted vase: 

Pink Vase Starting Off

Getting started. If you compare this photo with the one at the top of this post you’ll see that I switched the frog. The original pin frog I planned on using wasn’t allowing me to insert stems at an angle or sideways, so I replaced it with a metal cage-style frog. 


Pink Final

This bouquet came together in much the same way as the first one, so I didn’t photograph all the steps in detail. Notice that I started with a cluster of unopened hydrangea heads, which created a “base” that supports the three ‘Cafe au Lait’ dahlias, making them more prominent. Other ingredients include Queen Anne’s Lace, Scabiosa buds, and the gooseneck loosetrife. Even though similar ingredients are repeated from the first bouquet, this color palette gives it a totally different look and feel. 


Pink Detail

A final grace note, showcasing the delicate beauty of the dahlia and Queen Anne’s Lace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Footed glass, circa 1978”

  1. Jenny Patterson Says:

    How very pretty! I love these…..now I need to grow some gooseneck loosestrife!

  2. Jenny Patterson Says:

    When I think on it, I have a couple footed vases, I never knew what to do with! Now to see if I can find those wire flower frogs I have here somewhere! Thank you for this.

  3. John Says:

    These are gorgeous! I really love the pink vase, so unique!

  4. Lucinda Says:

    Thanks, Debra,
    I’ve been reading about and loving the compote arrangements but wasn’t sure how they stay in the vase. I’ll have to give it a try! Very pretty arrangements!
    Lucinda

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