December 11, 2009

Inspiration- Madderlake

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Before I started my first business there were several floral design books that, in retrospect, set me on the path to what I consider “my floral design style”. I thought it would be fun to showcase the books I found so inspiring.

Madderlake was a ground breaking flower shop in New York in the 80’s and early 90’s. The two main floral designers, Tom Pritchard and Billy Jarecki authored three books during the height of their success with their business.
Travel back in time with me to 1989. At the time I had been working in a very traditional flower shop. Flowers were designed in a contrived and manipulated manner. Baskets, bows and cellophane were used in flower arrangements to the point of making the actual flowers an afterthought. I loved working with flowers and I could hear their little voices calling out to me. I envisioned designs where the flowers were cherished and featured

in a way that spoke to the receiver.

“Flowers Rediscovered” (1985) was so amazing to me. It opened my eyes to a whole other way to design flowers.Pritchard and Jarecki talked about designing flowers naturally. Letting the flowers tell you how they wanted to be designed. looking to nature for clues and inspiration.
When my business partner and I opened Blooming Art in 1994

Madderlake’s Trade Secrets” (1994) was the inspiration for our shop. Pritchard and Jarecki talked about using containers that would showcase the blooms they held. Trade Secrets is full of lovely images of flowers in glass beakers, antique bottles, test tubes and distressed tin pails. While that sort of designing may seem almost pedestrian by today’s standards it was revolutionary in the early 90’s. I opened Blooming Art stocked with clean lined clear glass vessels (hard to find in 1994), an eclectic collection of antique vases and buckets of cut flowers that inspired exuberant and artistic arrangements.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s Tom Pritchard and Billy Jarecki were rock stars of the American floral design world. They introduced new ideas and inspired a revolution and burned out quickly. I have no idea where they are now and if they are still creating with flowers (let me know if you know!). Tom Pritchard and Billy Jarecki opened my eyes and inspired me on so many levels.
I highly recommend all of the Madderlake books. They are as relevant and inspiring today as the day they were published.
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Linda Herman : 08:51 February 15, 2010
I was just doing a google search to find the authors of "Madderlake Flowers Rediscovered" and I found your wonderful, charming site. Your wedding bouqets are "gifted" and your blog is charming, energetic, and authentic. I read the ground breaking book, "Madderlake" in 1985 and launched a floral design business based on that singular reading; I had no experience, business plan, customers or cash flow, whatsoever! Recently, my husband and I have been living in NYC, part time and it has been niggling at my brain to find and credit Pritchard and Jarecki for having a tremendous impact on my life. My business, Festoons, segued into landscape and interior design but I have many fond memories of the passionate days and nights, creating wedding flowers in my basement studio in Boston.
tom pritchard : 10:17 September 9, 2010
It's always wonderful to hear a comment such as yours! Thank you so much. We're actually toying with the idea of a new flower book at some point. In the meantime, we're working on a book about our landscapes. You can see our architecture and landscape design work on our website.

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