Exclusive Interview: the Art of Floristry

 

Timebased recently collaborated with Worm London on a stunning statement floral staircase for the M&S AW18 Press Show at One Marylebone. We spoke to the ladies at Worm about their artistry, personal experiences and tips for budding florists.

 

How did Worm London come about?

We were both in different creative industries and feeling that something was missing. Every time we met we would chat about feeling unfulfilled and wanting a change and then one Sunday over a few glasses of wine we decided to enrol in flower school when we had some time off and see if we liked it. We loved it straight away and quit our jobs and worked in restaurants and did temp work while gathering flower clients until we came to the stage that we could both be full time flowering. That took about 6 months, we worked incredibly hard but were also really lucky. It’s completely changed out worlds and we’ve never looked back!

 

What’s the best thing about your job?

Seeing the seasons changing at the flower market. We go most days but it’s always exciting, especially in Spring and Summer when all the British flowers are in and are different every day. We love it when a client gives us a brief that is loose enough that we can just buy what’s really great at the market that morning that feels like it fits the job. It’s when we always feel at our best.

 

How long does a typical project or installation take to create?

It totally depends on how big the job is and when we are approached.  For weddings, we tend to be booked up a year in advance so by the time we turn up to flower their wedding the plan will be a year old (but constantly changing) With brands, it varies hugely, we sometimes get a call two days before or sometimes six months in advance. We usually forward and back with the design, chat about what is in season, what suits the event, the vision, the brand and the space, go and recce the venue and then finalise a plan and install as close to the event start as possible to ensure everything is fresh and looking lively.

 

Do you have a personal favourite type of flowers?

We are both really inspired by the wildflowers that we grew up around near the sea in southern Ireland. Wild grasses and scented foliages like woodbine and jasmine. Most of the flowers we are attracted to are delicate and have intricate beautiful details.

 

How do you pick the flowers that you incorporate?

Always by season first. Preferably locally grown in the brighter seasons. Then it depends on what the brief of the job is but we always try to make it feel like our style, as that’s usually why we were approached in the first place. The guys working at the flower market know what we like by now so usually keep us a few unusual things that they think look ‘wormy’ We also have to think of the environment that the flowers will be in, how long they will be in water, how long they have to last, how hot the space is, all of those factors have to be thought of when we are choosing the flowers.

 

What’s the most memorable project you’ve worked on?

The first wedding will stay in our minds forever. We were brave and a bit brazen to say yes to it seeing as we had never done a wedding before and it was a pretty big one. We were only 3 months in business and we just decided to throw ourselves into the deep and do it. The couples budget was £1000 and we spent something like £1100 on flowers. We actually paid for some of the flowers out of our waitressing money. We didn't sleep for two days and made it all in Terri’s flat and set it all up and went home and slept and took it back down again at 2am. We looked like we had done a triathlon by the end of it, we were both so ruined and exhausted. The couple loved it all and sent us a huge email the next day, the high we got from that was so contagious and elating that we forgot the trauma we had been through for the last three days. Needless to say we have become a lot better with planning and budgeting since then!

 

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your industry?

Staying true to our style. As we do many events, people often come to us with images of something they would like, usually it’s someone else work that they found online and sometimes they want exactly that, so we have to try to work on designs that we think that they will like that are more original and not a copy of someone else work. Sometimes it is a challenge but usually we are able to convince them to go with something new and different and refreshing that will get people talking about the experience they had with that brand.

 

Do you have any tips for people interested in learning floristry?

Yes, experiment at home and find your own style. See what kind of materials you are natural attracted to and what kind of arrangements you naturally make. If you are going to go to flower school, you can be easily moulded into what you see someone else make with the flowers that you are given but if you already have your own vision it’s hard to be swayed from that.

 

With thanks to Terri and Katie at Worm London (www.wormlondon.com)

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