Friday, December 18, 2015
The Cool Kid's Wreath: Air-Plant Wreath-Making with Geo-Fleur @ West Elm London
I love the traditional Christmas wreath currently hanging on our front door, but if you're a little cool/a little hipster or if your shelves are stacked with past issues of Kinfolk and you're into normcore dressing, then this air plant wreath-making workshop by Geo-Fleur was made for you.
Made from dogwood and decorated with garlands of eucalyptus, plus red berries and air plants, it's the coolest "alternative" wreath I've seen and, as founder of Geo-Fleur Sophie pointed out, it can be dressed and re-dressed to suit all different occasions - not just Christmas. Another upside? Unlike traditional wreaths which are made from fir and pine, this one lasts. And lasts. You just have to give the air plants a good 'ol spray once a week or so. Perfect for plant-killers like me.
On the evening of the workshop (which also happened to be Sophie's birthday! We celebrated with cake later.) we arrived to West Elm on Tottenham Court Road to find our materials for the evening neatly laid out for us and, rather intimidatingly, a tube of floral adhesive which Sophie warned was, "very, very sticky". In fact, so sticky, she once had a student who glued their fingers to their creation.
That was so going to be me.
With a series of twists and turns, Sophie artfully arranged the dogwood around the metal hoop before weaving through sprigs of berry and eucalyptus and finally, gluing the air plants in place. "And there you are!" she said, smiling brightly. "A lovely wreath you can display year round."
But having been to one of Sophie's workshops before, I knew it wasn't quite so simple. As the consummate professional, Sophie has a knack for making everything look effortless. I, on the other hand, was bound to either injure myself or someone else with the fiddly dogwood.
But this girl ...
... this one (AKA runawaykiwi) had no problem fashioning the neatest, prettiest wreath in the few minutes it took me to figure out how to not smack myself in the face with the strands of dogwood.
Me, jealous? Nah. Okay, maybe just a little bit.
I loved seeing how everyone chose to place their berries and air plants - some went for the ultra-minimalist look, leaving the top half of the wreath completely bare and focusing their decorations at the bottom, while others were totally maximalist about their "look", incorporating gold decorations and ornaments from West Elm into the dogwood to make it look truly festive.
As always, Sophie walked around, offering sage advice and encouragement, even as I grimaced and tried not to ping her in the face with a flying branch.
At the end of the evening, I walked out of the workshop with a pretty cool wreath (even if my cool credentials aren't quite up to par), which I proudly showed off to John next door at Heal's, where he was waiting. I love that I can display it year-round; it's already has a place on the ladder shelf in the guest bedroom.
Have you ever made a wreath? Did you enjoy the process? I found it to be so therapeutic!
Geo-Fleur runs regular workshops at West Elm London. For more information, book here. My ticket to the workshop was complimentary (thank you, Sophie!) but all opinions are my own.