The Con­stant Gar­dener

Vladimir Kanevsky cre­ates beau­ti­ful porce­lain flow­ers that have the world’s tastemak­ers wait­ing with bated breath for each new bloom,

Hong Kong Tatler Homes - - NEWS - writes Blue Carreon

Vladimir Kanevsky crafts beau­ti­ful il­lu­sions with hand­made porce­lain flow­ers

Mother Na­ture is the best de­signer— but Vladimir Kanevsky is ar­guably the sec­ond best. The Ukraine-born, US-trans­planted artist cre­ates porce­lain flow­ers by hand, sculpt­ing and mould­ing clay to make his beau­ti­ful blooms look real. Glo­ri­ous, beau­ti­ful, breath­tak­ing … su­perla­tives fail to de­scribe his work, which was fa­mously col­lected by late lu­mi­nar­ies in­clud­ing Al­berto Pinto, Os­car de la Renta and Bunny Mel­lon. To­day, Kanevsky’s fan club in­cludes an A-list roster of tastemak­ers and style icons such as Carolyne Roehm, Valentino, Deeda Blair, Aerin Lauder, Tory Burch and Lauren Santo Domingo.

This past au­tumn, Kanevksy show­cased his gar­den of beau­ti­ful blooms at the Her­mitage Mu­seum in Rus­sia, which was a soar­ing suc­cess. Though most of his work is com­mis­sioned, it’s also sold at the Dior flag­ship store on Av­enue Mon­taigne in Paris.

Labour of Love

There are a lot of chal­lenges in mak­ing th­ese flow­ers. Each one re­quires dif­fer­ent tech­niques and crafts. The flow­ers themselves I cre­ate from porce­lain and that takes weeks—some­times months or years. It took me seven years to per­fect the li­lac plant. The stems and the leaves are made from cop­per, which I cut and form in a sep­a­rate room, be­cause if the tini­est speck of cop­per touches the porce­lain, it gives it a green tar­nished colour.

Ar­chi­tect’s Mind

I was an ar­chi­tect be­fore I moved to the US. My ar­chi­tec­tural train­ing now man­i­fests it­self in what I do through the engi­neer­ing as­pect of the flow­ers. To work with porce­lain is to em­ploy a knowl­edge of engi­neer­ing and chem­istry, and of struc­tures. It’s very much like work­ing on a build­ing, but on a very small scale.

Learn­ing Curve

I didn’t have any knowl­edge of flow­ers and botan­i­cals at all when I started. I didn’t even know what a hol­ly­hock was when I was com­mis­sioned to make one! I had to do a lot of research. Now with the in­ter­net, you can look up ev­ery kind of flower. My wife and I also visit gardens, and we grow flow­ers our­selves in our small gar­den; that’s a huge in­spi­ra­tion.

Works of Art

I con­sider my work as sculp­tures be­cause they have all the prop­er­ties of sculp­tural work, es­pe­cially with the large-scale pieces like the lilacs, peonies and pomegranate bushes.

Af­ter the ex­hi­bi­tion at the Her­mitage, we’ve got­ten a lot of in­ter­est in the work. Aerin Lauder has shown smaller pieces in her show­room. We are cur­rently work­ing with Moda Operandi and we also want to do a book with all the flow­ers we have cre­ated.

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