Stand out from the crowd this Spring racing season
We now live in a world where things happen instantly with a click of a mouse. Gone are the days when we made things from scratch; a world where people had the time to create beautiful ornaments just for the sake of it. But like many things, what was once old, is now new again. And what was once rustic and vintage is now back in the spotlight.
With the start of Spring racing season, why not consider adorning your fascinator or hat with a beautiful silk flower that you have made yourself?
Silk flower making is one of those lost art forms from yesteryear. For my last birthday, I was given a gift certificate to a silk flower making workshop at Embellish Atelier. Embellish Atelier is run by Catherine Kelly; an award winning Sydney-based milliner. Her charming studio in Rozelle is located in an old building that once served as a church and a school in its previous life.
The workshop started with us picking the colour of our French silk. Flaming reds, metallic oranges, pastel pinks and purples – we had an array of colourful fabric to choose from. Our next step was to stiffen the silk with glue and allow it to dry. To speed up the drying process, we used an ever traditional hair dryer.
Discovering the art of silk flower making (Photo source: Embellish Atelier website)
After lots of stencil tracing and cutting (I felt like I was back in primary school), we were introduced to the brass tools specially designed for silk flower making. The tools resembled medieval torture devices but I was amazed with how they worked. The tools needed to be heated over an open flame and were then pressed against the French silk to shape the fabric into more realistic-looking petals.
The tools of the trade..or medieval torture devices (Photo source: Embellish Atelier website)
Once all my petals were curled it was time to assemble my flower. I had twenty two petals all up and each one needed to be lovingly glued and stitched together. I found it interesting that although each workshop participant started with the same materials and instructions, each of our flowers were unique.
Incredibly, the whole flower making process took four hours from start to finish. There were times when my patience was definitely tested and I can't say that I will be racing to start it as a hobby any time soon. But I can say that after the workshop, I have a new found appreciation for silk flowers.
Embellish Atelier also offer workshops to make fascinators, hats, Great Gatsby inspired headpieces and lampshades.