Monday, April 21, 2014

A Day With "Tomas De Bruyne"

Tomas De Bruyne - Floral Designer

I highly recommend taking a seminar with Tomas De BruyneThe Floristry Department at City College of San Francisco was privileged to host at their facility this Brilliant Belgian Floral Designer.  Special thanks to The Northwest Region of the American Institute of Floral Designers(AIFD) who presented and coordinated his program/workshop.

One of the many things you learn through his seminar is the importance to continually invest
in yourself.  It's so important for florists/floral designers to continually update our knowledge and enhance our skills to achieve success.  You will also learn that personal and professional development go hand and hand.

The seminar was aimed at students and flower shop owners wishing to stand out from the rest by using the 3 creative M s:  creative mechanics, creative merchandising and creative minds

Tomas being a floral designer, teacher, author and entrepreneur has a rich source of knowledge/experience with much to share. Visit his website for more information on his many accomplishments,upcoming seminars/projects and European Master Certificate.
Design demonstrated by Tomas.

Tomas teaching techniques for a cascade bridal bouquet.

The completed cascade bouquet that City College of San Francisco Student Cynthia Woods won after attending the workshop.

City College of San Francisco's SAIFD President and First Place Winner for the SAIFD Competition in Las Vegas "Ineke Moss" enjoyed assisting and learning techniques from Tomas.

Tomas discussing the mechanics of his design and the opportunity to tap into the Special Event Industry with our specialized skills as Floral Designers.

City College of San Francisco Student Jennifer Rossi concentrating and learning the intricate detailing for one of the designs Tomas shared in his program.  This was such a wonderful opportunity for CCSF students learning hands on with Tomas.

Emil Yanos AIFD one of the coordinators and assistants for the seminar prepping a design for Tomas's program.

Break time with Tomas, Wil, Connie, Lily, Cheryl, Greg and Katherine.  
 One of many techniques learned at seminar. 
Techniques with pussy willow. 
Thanks to the Northwest Region of the American Institute of Floral Designers.  This inspiring program and workshop happened because of their efforts and passion for flowers.  Thanks to Wil Gonzalez AIFD and his committee for all their hard work!  This year the American Institute of Floral Designers are celebrating their 50th anniversary.  If your interested in experiencing these types of programs, workshops and presenters go to  The next AIFD Symposium is in Chicago Illinois, July 3-7, 2014.

This Fabulous Floral Group contributed to the success of Tomas's program. Thanks to all of you for a wonderful experience.  Special thanks to the sponsors of the program who provided their product:  Accent Décor, Brannan Street Wholesale, Smithers-Oasis, KB Flowers and The Sun Valley Group. 
Thank You!!
Jenny Tabarracci AIFD

Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Bouquets to Art" Celebrates 30 Years

This year Bouquets to Art celebrated their 30th Anniversary.  The design above by Dominique Pfahl  owner of Floreal in San Francisco captured the essence of the exhibition.  Her design displayed the heart and soul of so many who are part of this premier event in San Francisco.  Dominique wrote the following about her design " I thought it would be fitting to create a tree that started as a little sprig in the ground, grew as a beautiful blossoming tree, every year, thanks to the indefatigable hard work of the hundreds of volunteers, the creativity of the floral community of the Bay Area and beyond".......

The exhibition included a one-night showing of  Floral Fashions designed by the City College of San Francisco Floristry Students.  These talented students were the talk of the town after the Opening Night Gala on Monday, March 17, 2014.  Above City College of San Francisco Student Hee Joo models the creations she made with Young Pak.  Six other student design teams created floral fashions inspired by artwork in the museum's collection.  The guests were captivated by the live models and designs.

 Floral Fashion Inspired by the Artwork of Louis Comfort Tiffany
Floral Fashion by CCSF Student Ariel Ermatinger Inspired by the Artwork of Arthur Dove

Floral Fashion by CCSF Student Fiona Li
Drawing by CCSF Student Mia Pettyjohn
Floral Fashion by CCSF Student Mia Pettyjohn Inspired by the Artwork of George De Forest Brush
Floral Fashions for Bouquets to Art 2014.  CCSF Student Designers:  Nicole Kastle, Oxana Sanukova, Imelda Iraeta, Hee Joo, Young Pak, Carolyn Manan, Takhmina Akramova, Fiona Li, Maria Pettyjohn and Ariel Ermatinger
The exhibit is a great way to visit and catch up with your floral friends.  I enjoyed viewing the displays and sharing design experiences with the above Floral Designer Emil Yanos AIFD.  He chose the artist Otis Oldfield and was inspired by the Artwork from his series "Building the Bay Bridge".  I loved his interpretation.
The exhibit allows me to try new techniques and expand on what I know.   The challenges are coming up with a new idea,  logistics, selection of appropriate/acceptable material and working the exhibit into your schedule.  There are  limitations with materials you can and cannot use in the museum.  This year the show was extended one more day.  The designs need to last for seven days.  One of my goals was to come up with a design that would not require a water source and to select materials that dry well.  I also like to use new materials in the industry and include trends into the design. 
Above are the beginnings of the designs leaf work.  I found the metal frame at the department store Ross a few years back.  The frame was cemented in a plastic bucket for stability.  The leaves on the body are dusty miller glued on their backside and the same was done with the lemon leaves glued on the plastic bucket.  Tack 2000 was used for all leaf gluing. 
Above is the completion of the gluing process.  The square pedestal is made out of plywood.  The lemon leaves were glued both front and back sides for this part of the design.  The gallery is very dark and small. So I wanted to keep everything light, bright and a manageable size to accommodate the large crowds in the gallery.  I focused on clean detail for this design.
This is the completed design displayed in the gallery.  I was happy the lighting crew could spot light it!  I used a double coil technique with bullion and decorative wire for the smaller necklace.  Tiny succulents were sprayed Gold and glued on with clear floral glue.  Fresh Floral Jewelry is a popular trend in our industry and I learned many tips in Wendy Andrades book on this topic.  The medallion was made out of craspedia accented with a massed bullion lace coil technique.  The larger jewelry garland was sculpted with Mega Aluminum Wire a newer product to our industry.  I sculpted this with my hands and pliers.  I was able to make the shape without any additional mechanics, it holds itself together.  I then wired Gold succulents onto the garland frame and glued craspedia for the finishing touches.   Gold Chain is used in the design.  Another new product to our industry.  The Oasis company supplies it.  The jewels were given to me from Steven Brown a few years ago and I was happy to make use of them in this design.  Some of the artwork was made with Gold thread so I focused on this element for my floral design and also because Gold is a trend now.
Photo provided by Greg A. Lato/latoga photography

It's always a thrill to see how everything you imagined and planned turns out.  Above is the artwork I chose for inspiration.  The title is "Athena with Medusa and Gold Snakes" by Marilyn Pappas.  I hope you got a chance to see this fabulous show.  If not, there's always next year. You can view this beautiful piece of artwork that was hand-embroidered on linen at the de Young museum in San Francisco.  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD
For more information about the show go to: