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.