Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Whether you’re a new or experienced floral designer, “The Art of Floral Arranging-Learning from the Master Florists at FlowerSchool New York” can’t be beat. By Eileen W. Johnson, this was released by Gibbs Smith, Publisher.
This lushly illustrated guide is enlightening and inspiring. It offers novices a wonderful opportunity to learn from the pros. It focuses on the work of seven leading, world-renowned floral designers who are on the faculty of FlowerSchool.
Written in an engaging style, this has simple, easy to follow, step-by-step, color illustrated directions for all the arrangements. For each project, there’s a list of the flowers and materials and a discussion as to why the designer selected those.
The in-depth profiles offer rare insight into the designers’ work, and provides details on the kinds of florals they select. There are detailed, illustrated accounts of how they create the arrangements.
A separate chapter is devoted to each designer. There are profiles of Michael George, Chris Giftos, Charles Masson, Felipe Sastre, Cas Trap, Remco Van Vliet, and Meredith Wago. Each has his/her own signature style, and approach to floral design. This hard cover offers an extensive account of their work.
With few exceptions, these designers have extensive years of experience in the field of floral design. Some of them come from families involved in the business for several generations.
There are examples of arrangements for the various seasons and for different occasions.
For fall, this features a number of floral designs. One is a striking Dutch bouquet by Cas Trap. There are several for autumn by Chris Giftos. His lovely centerpiece is made with assorted fall flowers and berries. He also does a taller fall bouquet for a side table. Giftos also shows how to do a garden bouquet for display in larger settings. This particular design features Sedum, flowering kale, and other fall flowers.
For spring, there is a lovely bouquet of white tulips by George. He also created a white rose bouquet.
Waga is noted for her modernist approach to romantic arrangements. She creates a gorgeous white centerpiece using orchids, roses, hydrangeas, and other flowers, all of which are wrapped in a calathea leaf.
There are also numerous examples for public display, including one by Van Vliet for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masson’s designs focus on arrangements for his French restaurant. He shows how he creates the large scale bouquets for his bar and smaller ones for the individual tables.
There is also an exquisite bridal bouquet using exotic tropicals by Sastre.
The appendix has all sorts of useful information. There is a complete list of the different flowers arranged by color along with a discussion of equipment and floral suppliers.
FlowerSchool of New York is located in Manhattan. Johnson paired with George, a celebrity designer, to found the school. The school offers instruction on all aspects of floral design. This world-class faculty teaches hands-on classes where students get to take home their own creations at the end of the session.