Woodland scenes with blackberries and orchids amongst moss and bark, a tutu covered in white orchids and an interpretation of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss – the Floristry End of Year Exhibition at Writtle College featured some stunning designs.
Eleven students showcased their work on Wednesday 7 May and Thursday 8 May as the culmination of three years of degree study.
They had to create a wedding design, hand-tied design, a funeral tribute and a studio exhibit for the display. Visitors to the exhibition were able to vote for their favourite, with Hannah Garnham winning the popular vote with her woodland-inspired designs.
Julia Ryde, Course Scheme Manager for the BA (Hons) Professional Floristry programme - who was commissioned to make a posy for the Queen for her visit to Chelmsford - said: “Our students have produced some beautiful and creative designs in a time-constrained exam before presenting them in the exhibition. I am immensely proud of them all. Higher level study is all about extending the boundaries - these students have pushed themselves personally and tried to push floral design boundaries through their work.”
Hannah Garnham, from Marks Tey, drew inspiration from Francoise Weeks, the Belgian floral designer who incorporates the use of flowers with herbs, fruits and vegetables in her designs.
Hannah said: “My wedding design features a sphere covered in bark and moss and then filled with orchids, ferns, succulents and textured foliage. It is designed to be held in the palm of the bride’s hand. The gift hand-tied is framed by a collar of Betula and uses a variety of orchids, textures and dried materials to create a full and overflowing design.
“Made from moss, okra, raspberries, blackberries, dried lavender and orchids, the funeral tribute was created to float in a river or stream for a woodland funeral. Finally, my studio exhibit was inspired by the use of wood as a container or base for a design and I wanted it to look like it had been discovered on a woodland floor.”
Ellie Rowland, who lives in Theydon Bois, was influenced by Cubism and in particular Andy Goldsworthy.
She said: “My aim was to replicate the distortion created in Cubism through the use of kindling and a reduced colour palette.”
Caroline Corbin, who decided to study a Floristry degree after being a civil servant for 30 years and taking early retirement, created a handmade tutu peppered with orchids, inspired by Swan Lake.
Caroline, from Hornchurch, said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the three years of my degree – it has been both inspiring and challenging. Not only have my Floristry skills improved but I have personally benefited greatly from the change of career path.”
Lucy Yeseul Kim came to study at Writtle College from her home in South Korea. She was inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s use of triangles and the work of florist Moniek Vanden Berghe. Lucy created frameworks in various triangular shapes and decorated them with flowers.
She said: “My studies have given me the professional floristry skills and confidence to push myself forward in the industry and to start my own flower business. After graduation, I am going back to South Korea to set up my own business with the experience I gained in the UK.”
Kate Knight, who travelled weekly to College from the Isle of Wight, produced an interpretation of the work of Gustav Klimt with the strong use of squares and gold leaf incorporated throughout.
“It took many hours of planning to achieve my studio exhibit but I am most proud of that and feel that the flowers are incorporated well onto the canvas, creating a unified picture.”