Natalie Wolf Forum

At the Garden Club Federation of MA Annual Meeting, I was one of three designers asked to interpret a sculpture created by Rob Lorenson as part of the Natalie Wolf Forum. I choose to replicate some of the shapes and enhance them with an assortment of flowers in complementary colors. The shapes were then organized so the flowers within also created rhythms.  

Sculpture created by Rob Lorenson similar to one we interpreted.  He created a new piece for the program so we saw an unpainted 'work in progress' photo and thus I don't have an image of the final piece. 

Sculpture created by Rob Lorenson similar to one we interpreted.  He created a new piece for the program so we saw an unpainted 'work in progress' photo and thus I don't have an image of the final piece. 

Photo by Rob Lorenson - It was difficult to find a clean background so we used a moving pad - not ideal but it was better than hotel molding cutting the design in half. #roblorenson #floralnotesacton #maureenchristmas

Photo by Rob Lorenson - It was difficult to find a clean background so we used a moving pad - not ideal but it was better than hotel molding cutting the design in half. #roblorenson #floralnotesacton #maureenchristmas

To create my piece, I cut wreath forms made of MDF into pairs of arcs and painted them red.  I cut oasis wet foam into shapes to fit between the two pieces. The sides of the foam were covered with pan glue and attached to the MDF pieces. The glue waterproofed the oasis while adhering it to the MDF boards.  Once in place, the foam was saturated using a forceful stream from a water bottle.

Oasis pan-glued and placed between MDF pieces. Dowel rods provide extra stabilization 

Oasis pan-glued and placed between MDF pieces. Dowel rods provide extra stabilization 

Ribbon was wrapped around some of the pieces to add contrast. Euphorbia is placed to take advantage of transparency within it.

Ribbon was wrapped around some of the pieces to add contrast. Euphorbia is placed to take advantage of transparency within it.

International Bridal Workshop with Gregor Lersch

My floral escapades continued in March with a trip to Germany to attend the International Bridal Seminar given by Gregor Lersch. It was important to him that we not only improve our floral skills but that we connect with each other and learn about all the cultures that were represented.  I met designers from Poland, Italy, Turkey, England, Romania, Holland, Germany, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Israel, Austria, Belgium and I'm sure I missed a couple! The first evening, we were treated to a floral demonstration and then a lovely reception where the focus was to meet each other before the three days of intensive work.  Lunch and refreshments for morning and afternoon breaks were provided and gave the participants more opportunities to bond with each other.  

The first day started with demonstrations. On days 2 and 3, we started with critiques of the previous day's work and then had demonstrations. Afterward we proceeded to the workroom were there were all the supplies and gorgeous flowers needed for us to execute our interpretation of the day's topic. It was heaven!!!

Gregor was very in tune with where we were from and how that influenced our designs when he critiqued them.  An unusual color combination may have traditional roots in a culture and he would seek out this information before commenting.  He would go around the room and offer suggestions. Gregor readily approached the designers and would initiate the conversation.  I can't over emphasize how thoughtful and hospitable he was, how thoughtful his comments were and what a terrific team he had to support him. I can't wait to return to Bad Neuenahr to attend another workshop!

There were so many fabulous settings on this site to photograph one's work. Just a gorgeous location with views of vineyards on the hills.

Kyogi paper was layered on a cardboard base as well as glued on to bind wire to form the base for this completely wired and taped bouquet. Keeping it cool in the evening and covered in plastic which had been sprayed with water kept it looking fresh for 3 days! A few bits of kyogi paper coming out of the floral portion connected the flowers with the base much as you would connect a floral design to the container.

Philadelphia Flower Show 2017

I was invited to work as part of the AIFD team, under the leadership of Cres Motzi AIFD, creating an exhibit at the PFS. The show theme was Holland. My subgroup focused on artwork. I was asked to create a Piet Mondrian inspired piece using dried pods. The frame was designed by Ron Mulray AIFD and created for the show.  My role was to fill the sections with the primary colors typical of Mondrian's later work. Pods were dipped in diluted interior house paint and shaken hard/spun to remove excess before being placed in holes cut in flower boxes to dry. Pieces of styrofoam joined to create the base were covered in paper before the pods were stuck into it. Suzanne Sampson AIFD and Lyn from Minnesota were invaluable in helping me get the piece completed before the rigging crew came to hang it.

Theresa Clower AIFD created a Van Gogh inspired piece using wheat and Jane Godshalk created a floral piece reminiscent of Flemish design. The dried pieces were created twice so they were visible when viewed from both sides. 
     Other areas of Holland featured in the AIFD exhibit  were Gin, Canals, People, Delftware, and Bicycles.

 

Three pieces of 'art' were inspired by Dutch painters.

Three pieces of 'art' were inspired by Dutch painters.

Close-up of work in progress of the Piet Mondrian and Van Gogh inspired pieces.

Close-up of work in progress of the Piet Mondrian and Van Gogh inspired pieces.

AIFD INDUCTION

I was full of good intentions when I started this blog. I didn't think it would be time to register for AIFD 2017 Symposium before I wrote again!  

To catch up a bit - Induction was incredible. The whole experience was fabulous.  The other members were so welcoming, everyone was so congratulatory. I took workshops with Leopoldo Gomez, Wendy Andrade and Beth O'Reilly. The stage presentations were so enlightening. The gala evenings had gorgeous decor. The vendor reception offered a chance to meet some of the folks on the other end of the phone and learn about new products. Gorgeous flowers  and designs with interesting techniques and stories were everywhere. Feel free to reach out to me via the 'Contact Us' page if you would like information about the American Institute of Floral Designers.

20160705_173213Leanne and Joyce cropped.jpg

Induction night with Leanne Kessler and Joyce Mason-Monheim - these are two of the loveliest and most helpful ladies with a true passion for the flower industry and those in it.

Please click to see more images.

Before the beginning

I've always liked flowers and gardens.  I remember my grandmother's garden in South Ozone Park on Long Island. My grandparents were lucky enough to have the end unit of the brownstone which meant they got the rectangular space next to the garage out back.  The entrance was a climbing rose you had to sneak by so it didn't 'get' you.  Other images are hazy but I always thought that place magical. 

Fast forward to the turn of the century - (Jeez that sounds old!) My friend invited me to see her garden club's flower show.  It was the horticulture that drew me in - "I can grow hydrangeas like this," I thought - my competitive nature sneaking in. I joined the club when my youngest started school. I found myself entering flower shows and then going to National Garden Club (NGC) Flower Show school so I could figure out what the heck the judges were talking about.  "What do you mean those three callas which so perfectly represent the sails of the ship aren't connected to the rest of the design?" Now an Accredited NGC Judge, Master Level, I know what they were saying!

My flower journey continued into the retail world  - my love of design blossomed into something I didn't want to limit to the occasional flower show. I was exposed to the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) when their symposium in Boston in 2010 featured Gregor Lersch as the speaker. What an introduction!  The Northeast Floral Expo (NEFE) put on by the Connecticut Florists Association provided a regional avenue for my continued growth. After many brides and proms, I decided I wanted to see if I had what it takes to become a member of AIFD. I studied hard, practiced tons and went off to AIFD Symposium in Denver to take the Professional Floral Designer Evaluation. Success! My scores were high enough that I was invited to join this highly talented group of floral artists. On July 5, I will be inducted into AIFD - and so I begin.....(again!)