How does Fury Blooms Support the work of nonprofits?
Supporting nonprofits is foundational to my vision of Fury Blooms, and so is being transparent about what I give. That’s why I donate a percentage of the purchase price, rather than just my profit, so you know exactly how much of your money is being donated. It’s also why I donate 10% of absolutely everything I sell, rather than limiting my nonprofit giving to certain campaigns.
I make these donations to one of several nonprofits whose work I believe to be vitally important. When you make a purchase, you may select which of these nonprofits you would like to contribute to, or opt to let me contribute to whichever has received the smallest amount thus far. Occasionally I also offer pieces that I’ve created specifically as not-for-profit work, for which I donate 100% of the purchase price to your selected nonprofit. In both cases, I collect the donation amount and deliver it to the nonprofits quarterly.
How do you create your designs?
Almost without exception, I start with a live specimen. I am constantly searching the ground, trees, shops, and gardens around me for blooms I’d like to recreate. When I find one, I deconstruct it, taking meticulous notes, as well as multiple photos and tracings of petals or other elements. Then I work in reverse with paper, recreating the bloom in the same way I took it apart.
Paper Flower FAQ
How long do paper flowers last?
Paper flowers are made from delicate materials, and like all things in life (except maybe plastic), they cannot last forever. However, with proper care, you will be able to enjoy them indefinitely, certainly for many years.
Do paper flowers fade?
Yes, over time the colors in paper flowers may begin to fade. You can prolong their vibrancy by keeping pieces away from direct sunlight.
At this time I do not routinely apply UV protectant spray to my work, choosing instead to limit my use of chemical sprays and to welcome the ephemeral and evolving nature of the artwork. If you are interested in making a purchase but feel strongly about having UV protection, please contact me to discuss options.
Are paper flowers eco-friendly?
The main environmental advantage of paper botanicals is their longevity. Rather than replacing fresh flowers every few days as they wilt and die, you can enjoy paper flowers indefinitely.
There are significant environmental issues with the cut flower industry, including energy and water consumption, pesticide use, and worker conditions. When you do buy fresh flowers, I encourage you to find and support local growers, and to buy in season.
That said, I believe it would be an oversimplification to characterize paper flowers as environmentally friendly. The paper is treated, dyed, and shipped in plastic, for instance; and I use a variety of glues and coloring mediums whose environmental impact I don’t feel qualified to address. Ultimately the best way to limit environmental impact is to limit consumption. I focus on creating high quality pieces that will last for years, compared to days for cut flowers.
Are paper flowers pet-friendly?
Since many popular houseplants and cut flowers are toxic to our animal friends, paper flowers can be a great alternative for households with animals. However, some cats and other animals take pleasure in nibbling on crinkly, delicate things. It still isn’t ideal or healthy for them to consume paper, especially with the addition of dyes and glues. You know your pet best. Be sure to watch them closely around a new paper flower piece, and to be extra safe, I recommend displaying my work out of reach of animals.
Receiving and Displaying Flowers
How should I care for my paper flowers?
Keep paper botanicals away from water and moisture; for instance, I would not recommend you display pieces in bathrooms or near a kitchen sink. Avoid direct sunlight in order to prolong color vibrancy.
If you find your flowers need dusting, giving them a gentle shake or blowing on them gently should be sufficient.
How will my paper flowers arrive?
To reduce your shipping costs and protect the work during transit, I generally ship stems loose rather than prearranged. You can either use my photos of the work to recreate my arrangement, or follow your own vision.
For larger arrangements, if you’ve opted to purchase the recommended vessel, I will ship it with a cage of floral wire or a floral frog inside to assist you in arranging. Don’t be afraid to gently bend and shape stems and leaves as you arrange, and gently fluff or re-shape flowers in case of settling during shipping.
I typically ship flowers and vases packed safely in the same box, but based on size or shipping costs I may ship larger arrangements and vases separately.
Do I need a vase or vessel to put the flowers in?
I generally create pieces with a specific vessel in mind, and recommend that you purchase it along with the flowers. With opaque vases, I typically bend the bottom inch or two of each stem up onto itself one or more times to create the variety of stem heights that I feel works best for the arrangement, and will ship the stems to you pre-bent. I bend the stems rather than cutting them to allow you some flexibility in adjusting the height of each stem if you wish. Do keep in mind, however, that repeated bending and unbending may lead to minor tears in the paper that covers the stem. Such tears can be repaired or prevented from worsening with a dab of school glue.
If the vessel I provide is transparent glass, I cut the stems to height so that the bent stems are not visible through the glass.
I do not recommend that you cut the stems yourself in order to adjust the hight of a stem. If you choose to do so, use a heavy-duty pair of wire cutters to avoid damaging your scissors. Note that the stem paper may unravel at the bottom, but can be secured, as above, with a dab of school glue.
You do have the option of purchasing most pieces without the vase or vessel I recommend. In that case, try to select a vessel similar in height and with a similar size mouth as the one in my display. If you are interested in a particular arrangement but have your own vase or vessel in mind and want to make sure its size and shape are suitable, please send me a message so I can confirm or adjust stem lengths for you.
Where do you source the vases and vessels you offer for sale with your arrangements?
I source nearly all of my vases and vessels from antique stores and thrift shops. I believe in upcycling as much as possible, and I enjoy finding unique and unexpected pieces in which to display my work. I am particularly drawn to antique metals whose original uses were related to farm or kitchen. Because these items are secondhand, they may have irregularities or damage which are part of their charm.
What if I need to transport my flowers?
Although paper flowers are generally more resilient than they appear, packing or storing them can be challenging. Avoid storing flowers on their sides for long periods of time. If possible, transport them upright in their container; if necessary, pack them loosely in a box with lots of crumpled tissue paper or other material for padding. Give them a gentle fluff at their new destination if needed.
What materials do you use?
I use Italian, German doublette, and Chinese crepe paper, depending on the needs of the piece. Crepe paper comes in various weights or thicknesses; I primarily use 32g or 60g paper, which has a delicacy and natural movement I love, or two-sided doublette, which provides a sturdier and more velvety appearance. I also occasionally use other specialty papers besides crepe.
I am specifically interested in exploring the limits and abilities of paper as a medium. Thus there are no materials in my final work besides paper and stem wire and glue; I do not use any plastics, vinyl, clay, beads, or pre-made artificial foliage or stamen.
I hand color elements of many of my pieces; I use watercolors, artist pastels, water- and alcohol-based dyes, spray paints, and even the dye released by soaking other crepe paper to achieve various looks.
To arrange flowers I use chicken wire (not plastic-coated) or metal flower frogs. I do not ever use floral foam or styrofoam due to the environmental concerns about those materials. While I purchase new cardboard boxes for shipping, I reuse as much padding and additional shipping materials as possible.
Do you take commissions?
I consider commissions on a case-by-case basis. In general, when I freely create what I love, I believe I am also creating my best possible work to share with others. However, I also enjoy creating in conversation with other people, and find that sometimes commissioned work can push me to explore and stretch in ways I might not otherwise. You are always welcome to contact me with special inquiries or questions, or with types of flowers or foliage you would enjoy seeing in future work.
Will you make flowers for my wedding?
Weddings are not my passion, and for that reason I don’t believe I can offer the support and enthusiasm that most couples are looking for when planning their event. Therefore I don’t create bouquets or arrangements specifically for weddings. Of course, you are welcome to use my flowers in any way you wish once you have purchased them!
How do you price your work?
People unfamiliar with paper flowers are sometimes surprised by their cost, given the popularity of DIY crafting and the ubiquity of paper as a disposable item. However, each arrangement or detailed botanical study typically takes many hours to create, along with thousands of hours of cumulative practice and study in an artist’s background.
I generally price my work based on paying myself a moderate wage for the hours I spend actively creating a piece, which includes hand cutting, shaping, coloring, and assembling. I do not factor in the many additional hours I spend researching, creating and editing designs, or managing my business.
Most paper florists—and artists in general—do not charge enough for their work given the skill, time, and experience required to create it. On the other hand, most people cannot afford to purchase artwork priced at, or even well below, what artists deserve to make. I have no solution to this uncomfortable contradiction, only acknowledgement.