Please describe your profession. First I’m a flower dreamer and so I make flowers. In this activity there are a lot of momentum; everything starts flat. Then starch, heat & humidity give shape, and careful dyeing gives color. You build up a flower botanically; pistils, petals, stem, leaves…
What materials do you use? Flowers can be made in many different ways and in many different materials. I use silk, linen, cotton, paper, leather and also parchment. I have experienced by my own since childhood but had the fortune a few years ago, to learn haute couture flower-skill from the French master Dominique Pilliard in Paris. I prepare the chosen material by stiffening and tinting/painting in desired colors and shades. Then I cut and shape each individual petal using humidity and heat. To recreate a flower, around its pistil heart, I assemble each petal with thread and a tiny amount of glue. Nature and Botanica is a never ending source of inspiration and I can hardly see a flower without rapidly counting its petals and figure out the main structure…
Who is you “ideal client’s profile? My ideal client is a man or a woman who dares to dress with one of my flowers! I am very tired to hear ” Beautiful, but what do you do with them?”
When and how did you decide to be a craftsman? Raised in a home open to art, my aim was – and I became – a ballerina. I always drew and wrote poetry but I felt early I needed something to organize my creative vitality…and all my emotions. I early understood the beauty but hardship of being an artist. I found later that to be an artisan (compared to an artist) helped me by its limitations of gesture, material, tools and time connected to ones “body of work”. After retiring from ballet and raising my children I learned the reality of being an artisan in Florence where I worked for 7 years. How eye, hand, heart and discipline works together. The pressure of time and money… I am proud to be a craftsman although I work more by inspiration and do not like to repeat an object. A Theme and Variations – very stimulating.
My job is a passion as is life itself, but as I said; to be an artisan helps me to be practical in my passion and produce beauty…not only celebrate or dream. What is the best moment you had in your job? …when I stop I will think… ALL moments (but complicated administration will leave a bitter taste).
Right now I am creating for an elegant country wedding close to Stockholm “A Sea” of peonies made of Italian paper colored with pastel craies. I have been working for a week intensively from morning to evening, often with cramps in fingers and back, but when I realized the joy of the young wedding couple … I felt happy and rewarded. During this time spring turned to summer and I wondered about making flowers when they are so perfect in real? But “fake” flowers made with “an aim” is complementary. And we can let the real ones live there life-cycle in nature with sun, wind and rain.
Where and how long did you train before you were ready to create your business? Working as an artisan in Florence, I learned how eye, hand, heart and discipline works together. The pressure of time and money! Before starting my business, I have had to learn and also develop techniques to be able to make imagination visible. Especially around parchment that is stiff and un-ruly. La Compagnie Dumas (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant – Paris) stimulated my creativity by asking me to do in parchment what was almost impossible, I had to find a way. The generous couple Dumas has given much valuable support and encouragement.
What specific know-how and technical skills do you need in your profession? I have learned the basics and more with a wonderful teacher; Dominique Pilliard in Paris.
What role do “talent”, and “creativity” play in your profession? Talent is the flame and the “know-how” the candle. Creativity for me is curiosity and aim-full experimentation. “Parurier Floral” is a very old artisanal activity and I treasure my rare and old tools so hard to find. I can never get tired of them and I just have to learn how to be more skillful with them.
How could your profession be even more innovative? I do not care about being innovative or not. I do what I do. While working intensively many hours my back hurts and finger cramps but when I see the outcome and even more so the joy and satisfaction of my clients … I feel happy and rewarded.
What is the best way to learn your profession? Schools, trainings with craftsmen I find it useful to learn technique in schools. To work with a craftsman is always a privilege. And a lot of personal work! Visit museums, read, be curious and cultivated.
Your MESSAGE to young generations: “Let your intelligent hands unfold the beauty that has a meaning for you”. Accept constant work and humility as part of the skill that you will progressively develop.