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Category: Behind the Scenes

Why I’m Teaching an Online Paper Flower Class

In case you missed the news in my newsletter and social media, I launched my first online paper flower class last month! Since last year I’ve been looking at ways to make my London workshops more accessible to people wherever they live in the world and an online class seemed the best way to start. My first class is on the much- loved Peony flower. I thought I would give a little background as to why I’ve started to teach online.

 

Online paper flower class

– It’s much requested.

I get asked by people frequently for online classes, especially if they live outside the U.K. Tutorials can be great, but seeing a flower being made and talked through in depth can really help you to learn more easily and absorb what’s happening. There are often many steps to making a paper flower and there’s nothing more frustrating than an important photo or instruction not being included or explained in a tutorial, leaving you wondering what it is you need to do next.

– I can teach more than a regular workshop.

My regular in- person London classes tend to be around 2- 2 1/2 hours which usually allows for one flower to be made in that time. It would be lovely to be able to teach longer, advanced classes, but it’s not usually possible. By teaching online paper flower classes I can include extras that time doesn’t usually allow- how to make a bud, how to make the centre carpels and how to make a detailed leaf. All these things would take additional hours to teach in a usual class that I aren’t able to stretch to, but these have been included in my online Peony class. There’s no limitations at all as to what I can teach and how much content and value I can pass on to students by teaching online.

– I feel experienced enough.

I’ve been teaching workshops now for over 2 1/2 years and feel confident that I know what people struggle with when they’re making and how I can help them. I’ve watched students making flowers again and again, answered their questions, heard their concerns and assisted them with making their flowers. This has all helped me to put together the best class possible.

– Teaching workshops in- person is time consuming.

Teaching paper flower workshops in person is time consuming! Designing the flower, getting a great photo, booking a venue, selling the tickets, writing the class material, customer service, purchasing the materials, preparing the materials, and then finally travelling to the venue from Brighton and teaching the class, then travelling back afterwards. So much time! Once the online class is completed, it’s there for everyone to enjoy straight away, there’s no waiting for the workshop date. I do intend to carry on with my London workshops for the moment, but teaching online might give me more freedom as to which workshops I choose to teach in the future.

I need time to develop my work.

I’ve also been finding it hard to find the hours to push my work forward, make things just for me and to improve. Teaching online will hopefully give me income and time to make better work. I have so many ideas in my head at the moment that I just don’t have time to get to. I’m hoping teaching online will help to ease the pressure and allow me to be at my desk making flowers more and at the same time developing new ideas for classes.

Thank you so much to everyone who has enrolled in the class already and offered support for this over the last couple of months. You can view details of the class over on Teachable here.

A New Year With New Papers

With the New Year well and truly here and already being well in to January, I thought I would update you on what has been happening this month. With time to reflect over the holidays, I started writing a list of things that I wanted to concentrate on in 2016- flowers that I want to make, the direction of my work, things within my business that I felt needed I needed to spend more time on. The list quickly felt overwhelming so I decided to focus on one task at a time, with the first thing being refreshing my Etsy shop. There is still a lot more I want to do with it, but I’m pleased to have added some Cosmos and Daisy flowers on there to give people more choice.

Paper Cosmos Flowers by A Petal Unfolds

It was a real boost to my early January to have also been included in Design*Sponges’ round up of Paper Flower Makers to Follow on Instagram. It is always a real honour to be featured on Design*Sponge and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support that Grace Bonney continues to give to the art of paper flower making. Thank you so much Grace!

As well as making flowers to photograph for my Etsy shop, I have started to work with the cherry blossom flower for upcoming Spring workshops with the lovely Quill London. I’m so excited to try different varieties of the flower, before making a flower that I will take to the workshops.

Paper Cherry Blossoms by A Petal Unfolds New Year

New heavyweight papers from the AW/16 collection of Cartotecnica Rossi have arrived in my studio and I will be working with these papers more over the next month, with a full blog post on this to come.

Paper Cosmos Flowers by A Petal Unfolds UK

I’ve started using the wintry coloured papers for foliage and I’m enjoying experimenting with the heavier weight and darker colours. I started with some feathery green foliage and then used the lovely grey shades for some Dusty Miller.

Paper Dusty Miller by A Petal Unfolds

 

Paper Craft by DK Books

DK Paper Craft Book Cover

Last March I was lucky to be contacted by the publishers Dorling Kindersley with regards to contributing DIY tutorials to their new book ‘Paper Craft’.

At first they commissioned me on two tutorials- Ranunculus and Cherry Blossom. This was later followed by a further 7 projects- Daisy, Anemone, Daffodil, Peony, Ranunculus Buttonhole, Flower Wreath and Flower Crown. I definitely had my hands full! I was asked to make the final pieces and to make sure that each step in the tutorial was also made up so that when the project was photographed I wouldn’t have to spend lengthy amounts of time making.

papercraft dkbooks paper flowers
Paper Ranunculus Buttonholes- my favourite page
paper flowers paper daisy dkbooks
Paper Daisy

I attended 3 days of photo shoots just outside London and seeing my work photographed professionally by Dave King for the first time was really exciting. On each shoot there was also a hand model, who demonstrated the steps in the making process for the camera. I learnt so much about photography and styling during my time on these projects. As soon as I started photographing my work myself afterwards I could feel the influence of what I had learnt.

Paper Anemone Flowers DK Books

Congratulations to DK Books and to the other contributors and a special thank you to Sonia Moore at DK for being a great support throughout. There are 50 lovely projects included in the book ranging from paper cuts and quilling to origami.

Paper Craft has now been published and you can buy a copy of the book here