After a great deal of procrastination, Natalie followed her heart and in September 2013 she gave in her notice at work and signed up to spend a month learning floral techniques and concept design with Zita Elze, world renowned for her breathtaking floral embroidery. Trusting her instincts has paid off, from being an occupational therapist, Natalie decided to explore her creativity and during her intense time with Zita, she pushed her own boundaries, opened her mind and began her fascinating journey.
I was invited along by Zita to capture Natalie’s Grande finale! When I woke last Friday morning and saw the sunrise, there was a glimpse of blue sky promising a beautiful day ahead, perfect for Natalie to set up her work!
Unbeknown to me the setting to display her final day’s work was the stunning autumnal surroundings of the Epping Forest. It was during the journey to the forest that Natalie explained the inspiration behind her theme. As a child one of her favourite books was A Child of the Forest by Winifred Foley, which captured her imagination and has influenced her own work which began by setting the scene amongst the forest. Her husband Brett and herself are a keen collectors of treasures such as stag horns, bottles, trinkets, bell jars, etc. discovered in flea markets and antique fairs, all these precious items came with us to play a part in creating a magical scene.
Off we set all loaded with a chaise longue, deer heads, books, a trunk, leather suitcases, candles and a chandelier, together with her beautiful floral embroidery, bouquets and tear drop hanging glass votives.
On arrival, the build began, Jean-Pierre, the man who makes the impossible possible, wired, fixed and placed as instructed. The flowers were intuitively chosen, including amnesia roses, anemones, wax flowers, berries, acorns, beech leaves, lichen and rannunculus, just to name a few, were lovingly embroidered and combined, the scene was nearly set. When you think you’re just about there, Zita will say, “Put the twist in” and with a few final tweaks the set sparkles and comes alive. The results were enchanting. For a student who started without any knowledge of floral technique or experience, I think this may give you a glimpse into the wonderful work of Zita Elze. Her understanding of emotional energy and belief in your own capabilities push the boundaries of your creativity and the results can be breathtaking. I’m sure that the confidence this has given Natalie is just touching on the surface of a new and very exciting path ahead. I hope you enjoy taking a glimpse at some of her work, which I couldn’t help, but share.