Floral Trash & Treasure
For me, making an arrangement means creating a floral landscape with complexities, movement and layers; curating a selection of flowers and foliage that both sets a mood and tells a story. There is so much in floral design that can be likened to theatre. From watching someone create a masterpiece, to working on an arrangement yourself, to completely transforming a space with flowers and plants.
As a florist, you’re a director of stems, highlighting the natural shape and character of each type of plant, combining them just enough, leaving them room to breath and do their thing. Because really, flowers are always putting on a show for us; from a tightly closed bud to a blown out bloom, they’re growing and moving even after you’ve cut and arranged them in a vase. Finally, there’s the arrangement’s ephemeral quality. It is an artwork that’s alive and thriving for only a few days, slowly losing its petals, wilting, and drying out.
When I first came across Cara Marie Piazza‘s textiles, I was mesmerized by her creations. Cara collects floral, plant, and food waste otherwise bound for the bin, from florists and restaurants around NYC and repurposes these scraps to create textiles.
She’s found a way to not only use floral waste (of which there is so much of!) but to capture the essence of an arrangement on fabric.
Cara has inspired me to create arrangements reminiscent of her work; I give her all my floral leftovers, which she uses to bundle dye her fabrics. It’s an amazing thing to be able to make an arrangement and see it sustained and abstracted in a new form.
Cara’s process is a sight to be seen! She’s a director of dead flowers, moving the petals this way and that. She decides where to put all the scraps and which floral colours to mix together, but, as Cara tells me, “each piece is it’s own little universe and I only help usher the colour.” Not knowing exactly which colours and textures will emerge from the flowers is one of the most exciting parts of bundle dyeing.
Note: Image on home page tile is by Alberto Moreau