Ponderosa and Thyme England Floral Workshop
We're often out and about within the wedding industry meeting like-minded vendors and talented artists who love to create for their clients. I recently had the pleasure of joining my fave Katie from Ponderosa & Thyme (fell in love with her spirit after a random meeting in Ireland last year!) and Maria Lamb for their first English version of Katie's super successful floral workshop. Travelling all the way from Portland, Oregon, Katie led a 4 day floral extravaganza deep in the depths of the English countryside and it was a creatively humbling experience. Here's a sneak peek from behind the scenes at St Giles House of what the group of attendees got up to. For more information about the next Ponderosa Workshop (Oregon), see the end of the blog post...
From Katie: "I created the Ponderosa Workshops with the intention of creating a safe place for artists to grow and find their authentic voice using the medium of floral design. I saw a need in the florist community for supportive education that really gave time to focus on the artistry of the craft, going beyond mechanics and looking for the depth. The response has been amazing! Floral designers from across the globe, hungry for community and like minded friendship have come to our classes and the outcome has been humbling and beautiful. We’ve seen people take huge strides in their businesses and personal/artist lives after attending the workshops and I really feel that people have been given permission to dream bigger and push harder creatively due to the encouragement and feedback from the intimate workshop community.
The floral design and art coming from England has always strongly influenced my work throughout the years so just I knew it would be a perfect fit for our workshop! From the gardens to the architecture and amazing English grown flowers, we were surrounded by endless inspiration for our creativity during the course of the workshop."
"The workshop was an amazing experience. It completely exceeded my expectations in terms of how much I learnt (and my expectations were high to begin with :) ). I can clearly see the results in my work. You helped me to venture into new, more ambitious arrangements, I have much more self-confidence and bouquets are definitely less of a nightmare thanks to your techniques. I'm even occasionally happy with some of them :) It's difficult to put in to words, because the whole experience has been enriching at so many levels. And I'm very grateful for everything. The course was so well organized and thought through and you picked a wonderful location. It was such a privilege to spent few days in St Giles House. And even though it was a very intense experience I came home very rested, full of energy and optimistic. I think I was floating on that little happy Ponderosa workshop/St Giles House cloud for good two weeks and getting on everybody's nerves by constantly talking about it :) So thanks a lot again for everything." Hana Holdener
"It has been seven weeks now and my feelings haven't settled. The glow I had when I left Dorset that day hasn't faded at all. The love and encouragement from Katie especially, and her team and all my fellow students around me for those days hasn't diminished. I arrived feeling uncertain of my own abilities and reluctant to let anyone see my work. Since I got home I have practiced every day - even on the rubbish ones when I was sure I too tired or too busy - and been proud of what I have done. My brain hasn't stopped buzzing, not even at night, and each day I have taken another step towards making my dream a reality. I know now that I can do this, and I can probably do it pretty well. I didn't know that eight weeks ago.
So, sure I am going to go on other courses with other floral artists. And I'll enjoy them and learn skill sets from them and probably absorb a little bit of their style along the way. But it was five days in Dorset with Katie that made me believe I could do it, and know that I really, really wanted to, and I shall hold those days with now dear friends in my heart quite possibly forever". Claire Gourlay
Ponderosa & Thyme will be planning several workshops over the next year and we're excited to announce the next workshop will be in in Portland, Oregon, October 16-20, 2016.
Workshop: Ponderosa & Thyme | Photography: Maria Lamb | Film scans: Photovision | Venue: St Giles House | Hair and Make Up: Bella Unique Beauty | Videography: Hunting Ground Films | Aprons: Portland Apron Company | Dresses: Lady Evelyn | Silk and runners: Silk & Willow | Calligraphy: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy