Flow­er­ing artistry stems from na­ture

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREERS - Janita Singh Flo­ral Alchemy by Vicki Kerr is out now, $79.95, for more de­tails go to: the­flo­ralalchemy.com

FLORISTS are like artists, says Vicki Kerr, who has been work­ing with flow­ers for the past two decades.

In­stead of pho­to­graphs or draw­ings, florists pre­fer their art to come di­rectly from na­ture, Kerr adds.

“We are de­sign­ing pieces to be viewed and com­mented on, al­beit tem­po­rary ones,’’ she says.

“We look to cre­ate ar­range­ments that have move­ment in them so they are a plea­sure to view, us­ing dif­fer­ent tex­tures, shapes and com­bi­na­tions of flow­ers,’’ says Kerr, owner of The Flower Store in Dar­linghurst.

Kerr has writ­ten her first book, Flo­ral Alchemy out this month.

The book high­lights how flow­ers com­bined with other aes­thetic el­e­ments such as fab­rics, wall­pa­pers, vases, sur­re­al­ist im­ages and botan­i­cal il­lus­tra­tions can be used to dec­o­rate any space.

“I love that there are no rules in floristry. It is ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one, us­ing any­thing we might have at our fin­ger­tips to cre­ate some­thing beau­ti­ful to look at or evoke a con­ver­sa­tion,’’ Kerr says.

She says work­ing with flow­ers can be chal­leng­ing and re­quires pa­tience, tenac­ity and a keen artis­tic eye.

Floristry can also be po­lar­is­ing – ev­ery­one has dif­fer­ent views and opin­ions on what an ar­range­ment should look like.

But it is a very re­ward­ing, ca­reer, says Kerr.

“I al­ways had in­ter­est in flow­ers and did a course in floristry. I have been for­tu­nate to work with very sup­port­ive peo­ple (like well­known florist Su­san Avery) and learn so much from them,’’ she says.

“So much of floristry is dis­cov­er­ing and sourc­ing the ma­te­ri­als you like to use. Be­ing fa­mil­iar with the mar­kets and the grow­ers is es­sen­tial.

“For me, the most re­ward­ing part is find­ing some­thing fan­tas­tic to work with. It might be a beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­tural branch, or pick­ing up a beau­ti­ful box of pe­onies … these beau­ti­ful sur­prises are a con­tin­ual re­ward in floristry.”

Apart from un­der­stand­ing and keep­ing clients happy, Kerr says the other chal­lenge for florists can be mother na­ture her­self.

“We work with na­ture, so you are at the mercy of the weather,’’ she says.

“You al­ways need to have a back-up just in case you get to the market and the hun­dreds of bunches of flow­ers you had or­dered haven’t ar­rived.”

Florist Vicki Kerr en­joys tap­ping into her artis­tic side when ar­rang­ing flow­ers.

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