The seed for Fury Blooms was probably planted nearly a decade ago, long before I started making paper flowers, when I helped a friend pick up a dozen buckets overflowing with cut flowers the day before her wedding. I was moved on a primitive level by the lushness and abundance of all of those blooms together; they seemed at once impossibly extravagant and absolutely essential.
Many years later I began creating realistic, detailed paper flowers as a way to fill my own house and life with some of that sense of abundance. I quickly fell in love with the meticulous, unpredictable, meditative, and creative work of recreating nature’s miraculous designs, and creating beauty that would last beyond a season. I am particularly entranced by the minute details of plant life, and my work focuses on capturing that detail and botanical accuracy. All of my work is handmade—I cut, shape, attach, and often hand-color every element. While I have learned a tremendous amount from other paper artists, all of the work on this site is my own design.
Fury Blooms was born out of equal parts anger and love. I am gravely concerned for women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, animals, and the environment we all live in and depend on. To be an engaged citizen of our world today demands anger; at discrimination, at poverty, at racism, at suffering of all kinds. I believe that artwork can speak across the void of anger and suffering, and can bring more beauty into a world that requires it. Making something beautiful with my own two hands allows me to welcome my anger without allowing it to consume me.
Many days, making art does not feel like enough. But it allows me to contribute to the body of work of makers who are not part of the mass-production machine always urging us to consume and dispose of more. It allows me to follow my own ethical compass, making every decision for myself and my business according to my deeply held values and standards. It reminds me of abundance and fertility and hope when what I otherwise feel is despair, and allows me to share that hope with others. And it allows me to contribute financially in small but hopefully increasing ways to the important work others are doing in the fight for justice.
Plant life, while beautiful, is not docile or fragile. It overtakes, it pushes its way through, it adapts. It fights back and it survives. I think of this every time I hold a simple piece of paper in my hand, waiting to turn it into something new. I hope my work represents some of this aliveness and energy to you as well.
Amy Vaniotis, Fury Blooms