Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Constance Spry - The First "Martha"

Constance Spry, in a word, AMAZING! Here she is designing one of her many works of art. This flower diva reigned supreme from the 1920's - 1950's. She believed that everyone deserved to make their homes beautiful, and arranging flowers, weeds, berries, fruits, and vegetables made this possible to everyone, regardless of financial circumstance. She also encouraged the use of unconventional containers such as soup tureens, gravy boats, and well just about any vessel that could hold water.

I am currently researching her work and methods, some very basic, and others so unconventional it blows my mind. I also love how she is dressed so formally - wearing pearls even for a job that is just so,so - dirty. I think I may give it a try though, well maybe just some fancy aprons to start. Green hands and dirty fingernails are par for the course when you choose this crazy, obsessive but wonderful profession.

Here is one of my attempts ala Constance. I used rhododendron, bearded Iris, weigela and coral bells.

I loved the freedom this type of loose arrangement gave me. I was able to step back and appreciate each bloom. The asymmetry kept my eye roaming from stem to stem, a new perspective at every angle.

I was free from flower foam, a helpful tool, but was recently informed that it is also somewhat toxic and does not biodegrade - thanks Sarah ; ) . I plan on taking some classes in the city that encourage this method as well, I am very excited!!!

Here are some of Constance's students designing to their hearts content at her shop in London - lucky girls.
She did not call herself a florist, she preferred the term "Flower Decorator", probably to help distinguish what she did from others, she was not just a florist, but rather a designer.

So go off into a field, the woods, roadside, your garden, a generous neighbors garden ( I've got one of those too, thanks Karen : )  ), forage, gather, decorate and have fun!

* The old photos of Constance were taken from Davids Diary courtesy of Constance Spry Ltd.

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