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July 14, 2021

Maker of the Month: Fleurish Felt Flower Co.

Sending and receiving flowers is one of our all-time favorite things but having to toss them in the trash when they start to wilt always bums us out. *Enter Fleurish Felt Flower Co*. Owner, Bryanne Rajamannar, handcrafts each floral beauty from felt so you don’t have to worry about wilting. You can fill your home with your favorite florals made from heirloom quality merino wool-blend felt, so you can have lasting keepsakes to liven any space! We talked to Bryanne about what inspires her and her process of creating each petal and leaf. Prepare to meet your new BBF—best bud forever. ;)

We read that you have a background in interior design as well as a degree in art. In what ways has your creative background inspired you to make your own felt flowers?

I’m a “feelings” person. I think of creativity and art as a way to express a feeling from the artist or maker or evoke a feeling from the person experiencing the creation. Whether that creation is a choreographed dance, an intentionally designed room, or a pretty handmade flower, your mood can shift both when you create and experience all of these things. Subtle nuances in color, texture, sound, smell—all impact our emotions and memories in different ways. When I started working with felt almost 10 years ago, I hadn’t been “crafty” in a really long time. Something about anticipating the arrival of my first child and the desire to create for her sparked a nostalgic feeling in me. I remembered making things from felt as a child—I loved the colors, the texture, the memories. That all took on the form of flowers because I wanted to make accessories for her that weren’t super frilly. I’ve always had a love for plants and flowers and nature and by making flowers, I really get to appreciate their form and structure and marvel at how mother nature is just so brilliant even in her smallest creations.

Tell us about your process for making felt flowers. What are the steps involved?

The basic steps of creating a felt flower are cutting the individual pieces out of felt and gluing them together with hot glue. The longer answer is to create a flower from scratch, it helps to have a general idea of the basic parts of a flower: petals, center (pistol/stamen), calyx, stem, and leaves. Then, I try to determine what makes a particular flower unique or what its defining characteristics are. Choosing the right colors and making the felt take the shape of a particular flowers’ parts help make the flower identifiable and capture what is recognizable about that flower, even if every single element is not recreated in exact detail. To get the felt to move and form in the ways I want, I use water, heat, fabric stiffener, strategic cuts, and hot glue.  Occasionally, I apply color with chalk, paint or markers, and have even used fire to darken the tips of succulent leaves!

Fleurish Felt Flower Co. Owner Bryanne Rajammanar leaning against a white columnFleurish Felt Flower Co. Owner Bryanne Rajammanar leaning against a white column
woman designing felt flowerswoman designing felt flowers
felt flowers, pink peonies in a white vasefelt flowers, pink peonies in a white vase
“I’ve always had a love for plants and flowers and nature and by making flowers, I really get to appreciate their form and structure and marvel at how mother nature is just so brilliant even in her smallest creations.”
pink blooming flowers and eucalyptus leaves in blue vasepink blooming flowers and eucalyptus leaves in blue vase
bundle of lavendar laying on a white marble tablebundle of lavendar laying on a white marble table

 

Tell us about something you recently saw in nature that inspired you creatively.

Lately, it’s the smallest details. We’ve had tons of rain here this month, followed by lots of sunshine. Everything around me is really lush and sprouting new growth. I was just observing how all of this new growth is lighter in color than the older leaves on the plants, and so I revamped a bunch of my greenery stems with lighter green leaves on the tips and used darker shades as the leaves went down the stems. Those small nuances are interesting to me, and those little details bring more life into my work. 

You've been making flowers for over a decade now and have even written a book that teaches people how to make their own! What have you learned along the way?

I’ve definitely streamlined my process over the years. The more and more I make flowers, the more efficient I am about the steps I take to get the result I’m looking for. I’ve also learned that, although I am still delighted to create felt flowers, I need to share them with others so I can experience them through new eyes. What seems normal or even repetitive and old to me, is new and delightful for others so I draw excitement and energy from that. I need the joy that comes from creating, as well as the joy from sharing. Teaching people to make felt flowers has been the next stage of that sharing for me and I am really enjoying that. It keeps things new for me.

What type of flower is the most challenging to make? 

Some flowers are actually comprised of many smaller flowers. For example, the hydrangea.  What we think of as a hydrangea flower is actually about 30 smaller flowers clustered together.  So, to create that one bloom, each smaller flower is made and then assembled in the recognizable domed shape of the hydrangea. Other blooms that are made of individual flowers, like lavender or hyacinth, can be achieved by giving the idea of multiple smaller flowers without creating each one in great detail. So far, I haven’t come up with a way to make a hydrangea with any shortcuts and without all of that detail to still do the flower justice.

What type of flower is your all-time favorite to make?

My favorite flower to make has to be the peony, for probably obvious reasons. Most people love peonies. I’m not able to grow them myself here in Jacksonville so that probably makes them even more appealing. Another reason I like making them is that it took me a really long time and lots of trial and error to achieve the large rounded overall shape of the flower, as well as the cupped shape of each petal.  It’s so satisfying to watch their big, fluffy selves take shape before my eyes, every time!


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