A visit to Flower School New York and a lesson with Emily Thompson
November 4th, 2014
“So much of design is done in selection of materials. I want a flower arrangement to feel like you’ve dug through the wilderness to find a treasure.”
I spent a few days in NYC earlier this month and today I want to share one of the highlights of that visit.
Lots of amazing goodness came from my 55 plus-or-minus hours in New York, but one of the BEST experiences was my visit to meet the folks at Flower School New York.
If you have a trip to NYC planned at any time in the future, I recommend checking the class schedule at Flower School New York. I did just that about two months ago, as I began to plan a series of meetings with editors and Slowflowers.com members in the city. Turns out, on Oct. 23rd, the amazing Emily Thompson was scheduled to teach a workshop on sculptural floral design.
I signed up immediately. And lucky for me, I grabbed one of the 25 or so spaces in the 2-hour class.
The staff at Flower School New York knew I was going to be there that night and they created a surprise window display featuring my book Slow Flowers.
They also had copies on display in the charming retail area just inside the storefront that faces West 14th Street. A huge bouquet of thanks to Founder Eileen Johnson, as well as Executive Director Calvert Crary, Operations Manager Brittany Bosch and Instructor Beth Was Horta for making me feel incredibly welcome.
And then, there was Emily.
You know how you are dying to meet someone you admire and THEN, miraculously, they kinda want to meet you, too? That delightful scenario happened to me years ago with a writer I idolize, Scott Calhoun.
The same thing took place when Emily and I were introduced. What? I couldn’t believe it! We were destined to meet sooner or later, but Flower School New York facilitated it.
I loved studying with Emily. Every single word out that comes out of her mouth is inspiring. It made me feel as if I was taking a Master Class in a MFA program. Emilyisms:
“I want to make things that are impractical. That are surprising to me.”
“The proportions I design with are more akin to the natural garden or landscape. I’m looking for powerful contrast, for things that resist one another. That draw the eye in and push it away.”
I’ve got some great news: Emily invited me to visit her brand new shop on Beekman Street, so the following morning we squeezed in a shared cup of tea/coffee and a tour of the new digs. I asked permission to turn on the recorder (natch) and Emily agreed. So stay tuned for an Emily Thompson podcast episode later this year! And Flower School New York’s Eileen Johnson has promised to let me interview her in the coming year, too!
For now, just enjoy my photos from that magical evening.
“I love to work with seasonal flowers, with things of our landscape. And then I’ll add bits of the exotic.”