Swiss floral designer Thomas Spiess readily asserts his love for perfect shapes, detailed work and mono design pieces. You can clearly see this in his works which he shares vastly through workshops, seminars and courses. His quest is to always deliver perfection, after all Switzerland, a place where floristry is held in high esteem, while customers are discerning enough to demand nothing short of the very best. In this interview, Thomas shares with us the intricate step by step making of two amazing Porta Nova Red Naomi bouquets, as well as gives a brief perspective on floristry in Switzerland.
You work a lot with florists who are looking to reinvent themselves or kick-start their businesses/shops, what most important piece of advice do you share with them?
I think, one of the most important things is, that we learn how to ¨fascinate ourselves¨. This might sound a bit selfish, but when you learn to be able to fascinate yourself, you learn to be proud of the work you do and the designs you create. The customer will subliminally recognize this. This is the first step of more sales, better designs and more joy and satisfaction in our job.
How would you describe your personal approach to floral design / personal style?
I was trained in a very traditional way, but on a high level of techniques, design and knowledge. So my love for perfect shapes, detailed work and mono design pieces is quite visible. I have a lot of respect for nature, which helps me see the potential of grown lines and different surfaces of materials. I try to create designs which are out of the box, but in a commercial way.
How is floristry in Switzerland generally in terms of expertise and keenness to top quality flowers?
Customers in Switzerland are very sophisticated. They are happy to spend money on something nice, but then they have great expectations on quality. This is one of the most important things. It is also interesting for them to know, where the flowers were cultivated and how the conditions of the employee are. The education level of florists is very high in Switzerland, which is a great thing. But along with this the requirement of our customers increases, they become more discerning. So we rely on flowers and also other products that are convincing not only in quality but also in appearance.
What do you like most about porta nova red naomi roses?
There are three things I like the most: I truly love the dreamy shape of the rose. Besides that, the durability of the Porta Nova roses is incredible. And the third thing is the lovely scent of the flowers. Im am honestly very proud to sale Porta Nova roses in our shop.
Making of the two bouquets with Porta Nova Red Naomi
Give us a brief description of the bouquet designs?
The hand-tied bouquet is a very classical one. I crafted a frame that was impactful and special so as to well complement the Porta Nova roses. But the shape is traditional. I thought, that the contrast between the flowers and the stems with thorns could be very interesting, especially, because the thorns are normally cut out. Because I used quite a number of stems, I decided to create a cascading bridal bouquet as second design where I could use all the remaining petals. In my stock I had a very alternative bridal gown and the idea was, to combine this with a steampunk bridal bouquet. Because the dress to me was reminiscent that style.
What floristry techniques went into creating the designs?
The main technique in both designs was wiring. Both frames were wired and I also had to bend the stems or aluminum wire. I used the basic gluing technique to attach the petals.
Step by step Making of the hand tied bouquet with Porta Nova roses
- Take a big styrofoam ball. Fix the first stems of porta nova with staples on it.
- Go ahead with laying stem on stem, and fix each intersection with wire.
- The more intersections you get, the more stable the frame becomes. Always make sure that the shape of the edge and also the middle part is round.
- Don’t cut out the thorns since they make the design more special (just be careful during your work).
- Remove the styrofoam ball.
- Take six or seven of the uncoated stub wires (size: 18), cover them with floral tape and fix them on the stems and bend all wires to the middle to create a handle.
- Arrange all the roses in radial lines to each other, and create a dome-shape with all the flower heads.
- Cut the stems in proportion to the golden rule (1:1,6) and put the bouquet into a vase.
- Weave dry lavender and Reed stems through the frame, and wire them if necessarily. In my case, the frame became a diameter of 150cm.
Step by step making of the cascading bridal bouquet with Porta Nova roses
- Bend the flat aluminium wire with a pliers in different shapes and lay them on a small styrofoam ball.
- Fix the wire with some staples on the ball to make sure, that you will get a perfect round shape in the end.
- Wire as many intersections together, as you can find.
- Take a fine brass wire, with a colour that matches that of the aluminium wire.
- Do the same with other materials you would like to use (gears etc.).
- Remove the styrofoam ball. Take a thin, black brass wire, crush it and fix it inbetween of the round shape.
- This is the base for the petals. Because it is difficult to glue floral materials on metall, spray a little bit of glue spray on the crushed wire first.
- Then attach the petals with floral adhesive on the black wire.
- Try to arrange the petals in a scattered but symmetrical way, using less and less petals as you move downwards.
- The bridal bouquet can be held with two hands or you can fix a thin ribbon on the top.
- The colour should match with the colour of the Porta Nova Red Naomi.