I am believing more and more in serendipity. I guess it's not really something you believe in, it's just something that happens. Friday, sitting at my desk, a friend messaged me asking if I wanted to go to the opening night of an exhibition at a gallery downtown. Thought I might be into it. I looked it up and turns out installation artist Rebecca Louise Law, whom I love, has a piece on display here in SF now through August.
I scrambled to get home in time, hopped in an uber, and made it with 15 minutes to spare before the exhibit closed. I walked in the front door, past the people mingling and sipping on champage in the lobby, and headed straight to the top of a set of stairs. The installation is suspended strings of flowers, 100's of them. There were people everywhere, but I felt like I was the only one in the room. I walked down into the flowers and let them swirl around me. I looked up and watched them sway. I found my friends Saree and Rebecca. It was magic. Plain and simple.
The show is going on now through August 4th at Chandran Gallery in Union Square. Go check it out - it's free! You might even want to visit a few times, because it is sure to change as the flowers age.
On Saturday I had a shoot at the studio with three moonbeam goils, Crystal, Sarah and Sarah. We scheduled ourselves to start at 10 o'clock and at 10:01 I got 3 messages saying she was running behind. Which was perfect, because so was I.
The original intention for the shoot was to recreate vintage floral print wallpapers with real flowers. I attempted, but, it was an ambitious plan and we only had one afternoon. A pseudo wall went up, but I'll tell you, pretty things very much happened.
I'm generally interested in any iteration of flowers you can throw at me. The scent, the seed, the science. Fridays' exhibit has my wheels turning about the possibilities of other aerial installations. I am entranced by things that are translucent. Paper thin Seed pods and Leaf Skeletons make me tingle. What's a leaf skeleton you ask? Enter the rabbit hole here.
Basically, the gist is this: Find a beautiful leaf, soak it in a liquid that gently (and not completely) dissolves the soft fleshy parts of it, leaving behind the dense central veins and a lacey web of tertiary veins. At Benjamin Brodder's site on this subject he has a link to an old pamphlet published in 1861 by a man named Edward Parrish, a member of the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia. It's called The PHANTOM BOUQUET. While it appears from Brodder's blog that modern, chemically-driven processes to create these leaf skeletons now exists, Parrish recommends soft boiling water and leaving your leaves submerged under water in the sun or in a closet near your flue (tee-hee) for approximately 5 weeks. The Hardy Oak leaf, he explains, can often be found as a naturally occurring leaf skeleton in the Autumn, if you look hard enough. I can't wait to finish reading this little book!
Another sort of flower manipulation that falls under this umbrella of translucency and age old crafts is pressing them. On that particular subject, I'd encourage you to check out the beautiful work of UK and Hong Kong based floral designer Gemma Hayden Blest. Her own wedding flowers (ALL WHITE PALETTE, a rainy day with White umbrellas) and her general use of white, green, lotus flowers, roses, and paint in her cut flower compositions are pretty incredible. I recently discovered that she also makes beautiful glass framed pressed flowers using interesting botanical specimens (ferns, orchids), roots and all. Curious about how to get into this crafty medium, I did some internet searching and found an article that breaks down her process here. Enjoy!
I'll be spending the next two weeks working on upcoming August and September weddings, so expect another blog post here at the end of the month. Thanks so much for reading!