While browsing a local antique shop last weekend, I discovered the published work of Louise B. Fisher, a former in-house floral designer for the Colonial Williamsburg Village and the author of An Eighteenth-Century Garland, published in 1951. The elegance and attention to "period-correctness" in Fisher's work is still astounding to this day and has become a benchmark for Williamsburg style and historic relevance. As the inspiration of this dried arrangement, I found Mrs. Fisher's book to be a delightful epilogue of facts and information about 18th century motifs and medallions. This article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch explains Fisher's artistic practice:
"Using the techniques of two centuries ago, Mrs. Fisher has changed the concept of dried arrangements from that of drab space-fillers to colorful, attractive additions to any room, especially during the Winter months when fresh flowers cannot be obtained except at hot-house prices....By the skillful combinations of research, imagination and the artist's eye for color and mass, Mrs. Fisher has almost single-handedly recreated the forgotten art of eighteenth-century flower arranging. The results of her handiwork not only brought life to the rooms of the restored Williamsburg houses but have attracted interest in flower lovers all over America."
Fisher's work is very inspiring and I will be showcasing her techniques throughout the upcoming weeks. Here is one of my arrangements (shown above and below) made to the specifications of eighteen-century design.
As you can see, flower designs of the eighteenth century are reminiscent of English prints and still life paintings portrayed by artists and botanists of this period. The composition of this arrangement includes wild and cultivated flowers gathered and dried from the garden, fields, and woodlands of the Mid-Atlantic States that were present during the Colonial Era.
To revive an old tradition or style allows the old to become new again.
Keeping it real,