Entering floristry competitions is pretty exciting, competing against peers in the industry and showcasing your work to the general public, can be so much fun.
We chatted with our super talented students and trainers, that recently competed at major flower shows, to tell us about their experience and why they think it is well worth the effort.
Creative Director - Lynne Dallas and Cert III Trainer Lauren Bridle recently competed at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show - or 'MIFGS' as it is affectionately known as. One of the finest flower and garden shows in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting over 110,000 visitors to the show.
Lynne and Lauren were assisted by a fabulous team including other florists and even a lighting engineer, to help bring their Silver medal winning display to life. The display is to fill a space 6m by 3m and 2.4 high, no mean feat, and required to last for the full 5 days of the show.
This poses many challenges say Lynne - "creating something to have visual impact in a space that big requires you to think of the whole space as one and design with the viewer in mind. Also the challenge of materials lasting for 5 full days can limit what you work with. But we were very pleased with our stunning flowers."
Lynne and Lauren chose to work with all locally sourced flowers from Victorian growers and construct their design into water sources. "The decision to work without foam is not only an environmental choice" says Lynne "having our flowers in deep fresh water means less maintenance, flowers last for longer and it makes you think, as a designer, how to create the look and feel you want without foam to hold flowers in place."
The design idea came from coming across a magnificent piece of artwork and then reaching out to the artist to gain permission to use it as the backdrop.
"We worked with a limited palette of colours and flowers" said Lauren, choosing to stick with colours that brought the artwork to life.
"The whole experience was incredible and so much fun" says Lauren ."This is the second time Lynne and I have competed at MIFGS - last year being awarded a Silver Gilt medal and this year a Silver. So we were pretty happy with that".
Meanwhile, Cert III students and our Cert III trainer Duc Bui, were putting their creativity in the spotlight as they competed in the Floristry competitions at The Sydney Royal Easter Show.Antonella, Yuna and Sandy
Every year dozens of Floristry students from many training colleges put their creativity (and lets face it, nerves) on the line, to compete against their peers.
This year we had an remarkable amount of interest from our current Cert III students wanting to take up the challenge and push themselves by entering the competitions.
Pearsons School of Floristry had 5 students and Cert III teacher Duc Bui, that entered different competitions over the 2 weeks of the show.
Antonella and Yuna in action!
Students Sandy, Antonella and Yuna, had to create a design from a 'surprise box' of materials supplied and sponsored by local growers. Included in the mix was a range of pink flowers, twisty wires covered in pink wool! a square ceramic container and Agra wool. Luckily our students had come across Agra wool in base Medium class so were not phased by having to use it instead of floral foam.Sandy Leong
Sandy competed in 3 categories, including bringing away a First place in the 'display' Surprise box category and Highly commended in the Arrangement surprise box category
Antonella Isgrow-Attwood - Second place in the Arrangement surprise box category
We were thrilled with the outcome. Everyone represented themselves and the school so incredibly well and made beautiful work.
Sandy said that she had no expectations and that entering more than one competition was a great experience and she got used to the general public watching and critiquing and learnt to block out the noise as she worked. The longest competition was 4.5 hours and the competitors were given an array of flowers and a bicycle to decorate!
"I learnt so much by putting myself out there and participating in a unique experience and atmosphere. The opportunity to receive feedback from an international flower designer as the Judge, was invaluable. The win was a bonus!" said Sandy.
Laurel Sequeira and Elyssa Dent also entered the surprise box display category
Elyssa creating her display
Laurel said that the competition had really challenged her, "I really enjoyed the creative aspect and learnt a lot from the experience that I can utilise in my future work, I also received great educational feedback from Anson the judge.
"It was so nice to see all the completed designs made by the other competitors and see how the same materials were used to create an entirely different look.
I was a little nervous going into the competition, as I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up having an amazing time and would certainly consider entering more competitions in the future!" - Laurel.
Work by Laurel Sequeira
Cert III trainer Duc had a great time working with fabulous Australian Native materials supplied and sponsored by East Coast Wild Flowers. A surprise box display for the entrance to an art gallery was the brief, under the title Poetry in Motion.
Experienced competitor Duc created stunning displays in the 3 hr competition and always enjoys competing "as I have a great time and get to catch up with familiar faces" says Duc.
So if you've ever wondered if it is worth entering floristry competitions we think the answer is a resounding yes!