You may have noticed that our Instagram feed was on POINT over the past two days, and it's all thanks to Ashley & Liz who filled it with stunning images from their recent Sentient workshop! They were sweet enough to answer a few questions for us about their working relationship, love of flowers, and the workshop itself! So let's get to know Ashley (@parkfloraldesign) and Liz (@silohfloral) a bit better, shall we?
First of all, congratulations on what looked like a successful (and gorgeous) workshop! Can you first tell us a bit about each of yourselves, and how this all came to be?
Liz: I have been designing flowers for the past 6 years, working under and learning from two different designers and then I finally took the plunge and started my own company in November 2015. I have always known that I need to work and create with my hands. Flowers make me imagine and wonder, which is something I never want to lose. I spend my time (and money, let’s be honest) exploring the world and eating and cooking good meals. I’m a wine and whiskey lover and a sucker for a good old-fashioned.
Ashley: I have been working in the wedding industry for nearly 10 years but have spent the last 4 focusing on floral design and have found my calling there! I am a mom of two, wifey of one and a mama to four chickens and one pup. We recently moved to a new (old!) little bungalow in Denver and now I just dream of running an urban farm and garden.
We met a few years back when we were working together at another florist’s studio. After that we have each continued to build our own businesses, but honestly, we are floral soulmates and are constantly working together and bouncing ideas back and forth.
Have the two of you collaborated in the past, or was this your first experience doing something like this together?
Oh yes! We joke that this is “the family biz” - we get to work together constantly. When we were first working together a few summers ago we bonded over our love of 90’s hip hop and R&B and it was instant fireworks! Working together is so seamless for us and we have a very similar aesthetic and approach to floral design. It is so natural and easy not only to design together, but also to teach side by side. This was our first group floral workshop that we have hosted and we’re already scheming up round two!
We’re a huge fan of floral workshops and the invaluable education that comes with hands-on learning in an intimate setting. I love that you designed this workshop around four art principles & concepts; can you explain what those are and why you chose them?
Floral design is truly an art form to us. We work with a medium that is constantly changing and evolving, but that is exactly the reason that we love it. Florals are different than so many art forms, such as painting, photography, or sculpture, because we are working with things that are alive and also temporary. That is part of the magic though - it is this fleeting beauty that you get to create and behold just for a period of time.
Since we have such a similar approach to design, we found it was helpful to teach in a way that other creative minds could understand. Color, shape, movement and contrast were the four principles we focused on during Sentient. These principles dictate how we create conceptualize and design each floral arrangement. The palette is the foundation for our designs and where we love to spend the most time becuase it completely sets the tone for the entire creation. Shape is all about establishing a mood and giving an arrangement character and personality, while movement is about evoking a feeling in the design and letting the eye travel through the floral piece. We love to use some contrast as we work with flowers to help make things “pop” and add more visual interest.
What was your favorite part or moment of the weekend?
The second night of the workshop, we hosted a private dinner catered by The Fond Life (@thefondlife) at Ashley’s home. It was such an intimate and special time to get to know each of the attendees and bond over incredible food! We would also say watching the group come together for the installation design was so exciting and rewarding.
Let’s get to the good stuff - the flowers! It must be a dream to get to choose all the flowers for something like this, when you have no limits or restrictions from a client! Tell us a bit about your thought process behind your floral recipes for the different pieces you created.
THE FLOWERS - cue lots of squeals! We had such amazing product to work with for the workshop! Spring is one of our favorite seasons for flowers and we wanted to honor the season in each of our designs. We really believe that each design should be an artistic and dynamic expression, which means incorporating both light and dark tones, large focal blooms and soft, small spring blossoms, and lots of textural elements. We had a beautiful range of purple, mauve, sandy brown, peach, cream and white. We always want someone that is viewing an arrangement to be able to enjoy the visual journey so we are thoughtful about the way color moves across an arrangement.
Do you have any plans to host more workshops in the future?
We do! We had such a blast hosting and teaching the Sentient workshop that we are planning to do another in the fall. Fall florals offer a completely different palette and mood and we can’t wait to have another opportunity to teach other designers. Stay tuned!
And lastly, what would you say to designers that are interested in taking a workshop but are trying to decide if it’s worth the investment?
Workshops are a big investment and one to be taken seriously. We believe that becuase floral design is truly an art form, that as designers, we need to constantly be inspired, moved, and learning more about this medium of art. The goal is that each attendee walks away not only with some beautiful images for their portfolio, but also with a renewed sense of energy, inspiration, and confidence in their work. And, of course, the sense of community and support that is built between all the designers cannot be beat!
For more workshop goodness, head on over to our Instagram to see the rest of the images!