After working in the floral field for over 20 years and opening numerous flower shops, Christian has an uncanny depth of knowledge and calmness when it comes to making design decisions. Rather than forcing a design into fruition, Christian expertly uses market trends to his advantage allowing his designs to grow based on availability, seasonality and pure inspiration. Last month nine FlowerSchool students jumped at the opportunity to experience this master designer’s floral process in “The Christian Tortu Process” class.
On a chilly Wednesday morning the FlowerSchool students met Christian at the flower market on West 28th St to observe and participate in his buying practices. Browsing through the market Christian remarked how his designs are usually inspired by a single product building the rest of the palette around that specific flower or branch. At the same time, you must be flexible and not too reliant on that single element in case you need to switch the concept of your design later on.
In this case Christian was drawn to a very unique and linear autumnal leaf with a beautiful golden color. After spotting this one item, he next picked a beautiful palette of pale pink calla lilies and tulips, yellow and orange nerines, anthuriums and beautiful checkered sarracenia for an extra effect. In his second design Christian was inspired by the bright and crisp red color of the ilex berry; so for this more seasonal design, Christian used persimmon (which can stay fresh for over a week when in water) hypericum berries and ilex berries.
Students who participated in this ‘Process’ class had an incredible day with Christian Tortu, completing two very different designs and asking him questions about his work, history and design theories. This was a termendous day and we send a big thank you to Christian for his time and openness to our students.
For many more pictures of this class, visit us on facebook HERE!