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The Art of Flowers: Creativity in Bloom

Katie Symth and Terri Chandler are the two Irish creatives behind Worm, a floral design studio based in Clapton, East London. Since its inception six years ago, they have gained quite the cult following in the fashion and design worlds. The flower ateliers have worked on everything from editorials for Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE Decoration, to events for brands including Matches Fashion and Erdem. 

Wedgwood collaborated with the duo recently to celebrate the ‘Art of Flowers’, and took a moment with Terri Chandler in between shots to talk about taking a leap of faith into a new career, her top tips for flower arranging, and what they love about working with beautifully-crafted Wedgwood vases.

What was the path that led you to becoming florists?

We were both working in different creative industries, I was an actor and Katie was a stylist. We wanted more autonomy over the kind of work we did, so decided to find a job that meant we could be our own bosses. We both had a shared love of flowers, so we decided to try a flower course together. From the very beginning, we were hooked.

And how about the creation of your studio, Worm?

Worm began as a book and bunch delivery service, and we really enjoyed doing that for a while. Then other bookings started to come through, and we discovered the thrill of setting up an event or styling a shoot. It’s almost like performance adrenaline, but you are behind the scenes and the flowers get to take the spotlight.

Tell us about the Wedgwood shoot. How did you chose the flowers and stylistic design to complement the vases?

There is something instinctive in the way we design for a vase. It’s hard to put into words. You look at a vase and the size of the neck and whether it has a pattern or not, and something just always feels right.

What did you love about the Wedgwood vases you used on set? Did you have a favourite?

The vases are completely beautiful and the classic shapes of them are timeless for a reason – they simply hold and champion flowers so well. The Magnolia Vase is my favourite, it’s such an iconic pattern.

Magnolia Blossom vase

“I completely adore Icelandic Poppies and luckily, they were in season. I usually put them in a really simple vase as they are such a hero focal flower, but I wanted to pair them with something equally as beautiful and slightly clashing in colour. It became more like an interesting sculpture than some flowers in a nice vase.”

Shop Magnolia Blossom vases

Jasper Folia Rose Bowl

“This vase is such a good bowling ball shape and is a great base to create something really interesting. Because of its simple colour, you can get creative with the flowers whilst also drawing attention to the really beautiful and delicate detailing on the vase. I added chicken wire inside the vase to make a grid, made a classical ‘L’ shape and filled in around it. Some trailing foliage works really well with this type of vase shape too.”

Shop Folia vases

Hummingbird vase

“The beautiful Hummingbird vase has a thin neck and therefore doesn’t need a lot of flowers to feel complete. You could go for something really simple, although the vase is so playful that I chose some stems that had real personality and left space around them so that you can study each flower.”

Shop Hummingbird vases

The first rule of arranging flowers is…

Think sustainably – this means so many things. Buying as local as possible, not using floral foam, not using cellophane or other single use plastics.

What are your top pieces of advice for flower arranging?

  1. Let the season guide you, choosing flowers that are as local as possible. This is possible in the UK from early Spring, right up to mid Autumn.
  2. Prep your flowers for a vase by snipping the ends and removing extra leaves and foliage.
  3. Play around with heights and leave some space – don’t be afraid to cut some down low and leave some stems really high and wild so there is variety in height and depth.
  4. Lastly, trust your instincts when creating, and leave yourself time, knowing that everything will take twice as long as you think it will.

And what are some things you would advise to avoid?

  1. Firstly, avoid even numbers – odd numbers typically work better for floral arrangements, especially with focal flowers.
  2. Secondly, don’t cut a stem before checking if it’s the right place for the flower first.
  3. Finally, don’t keep going when it feels like it’s finished. This goes back to trusting your instincts – which includes knowing when to stop.

What are your top tips for making flowers last longer?

  1. Snip flowers at the end of the stem on a diagonal, so there is more surface space for them to drink water. If the stems are thick and woody, like lilac, snip them vertically up the middle of the stem.
  2. Fill the vase with cold water, and make sure that there are no leaves or foliage at water level.
  3. Remove any flowers that are wilting, because the bacteria that forms as they die will affect the other stems.
  4. Lastly, try not to leave them near a heat source.

 

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