When I heard that Jay Archer was looking for a flowery day out for her and her two main sidekicks (Mand and Mel) I was thrilled to invite her to the Jennifer Pinder studio. After the initial excited high of the dates being confirmed I was hit with a rather big problem... 'What on earth can you do to entertain 3 of the most experienced florists you have ever met?!'
I decided to think outside the box - this wasn't going to be a workshop in the usual sense!
To make the workshop really stand out for the girls I decided to give them TOTAL freedom to create something completely unique. I laid out all of my weird and wonderful props and told them that rather than thinking about colour or seasons the arrangement's focus should be a message. Something important to each of them.
Have you ever tried to channel an emotion while you work? Try it, I often think of my couples when I make bridal bouquets and it is amazing the subtle influence it really can have on my work.
Anyway... to the arrangements. When not influenced by a teacher their own unique styles and background training really came through. Mel teaches floristry and her classic look and attention to detail shines through. Mands just loves nature and wanted to create something playful and interactive - she kept asking for weird and wonderful things so I had no idea what on earth she was planning in her corner of the workshop! Jay is known for her natural and abundant style and for creating showstopper installations. The message behind Jay's arrangement was simple - 'changes for 2017'. Mand madea totally original arrangement for her godchildren - it span around, it contained felted animals hiding under the flowers and fruit to eat! Mel created an arrangement based on childhood memories with her mum in the garden.
In the afternoon I demo'd a bouquet and then the girls made their own. With stunning results of course!
We had lunch at a local pub (the Rock). It was a really fun day of catching up and playing with flowers without any pressure. Matilda also enjoyed being the centre of attention :) I to would like to thank Jay, Mands and Mel for coming to deepest Kent to spend the day with me. Jay has been an inspiring figure in my floristry journey and so it was an honour to host her!
p.s. You can read more about a course I did with Jay here.
Images by Jo Ellen (the good ones! A few are from my phone) x