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Featured Artist : Gill Rawlings of Petite Fleur

Floral Artist Extrodinaire tells us some of her secrets.

The White Garden by Petite Fleur. Highly Commended in the Perfection in Miniature Awards 2020.

In the 1980’s Gill specialised in growing and arranging dried flowers and she began to notice that a number of customers were buying her tiny arrangements for their “houses”. Talking to these people introduced her to the previously unknown Wonderful World of Miniatures.

Dried flowers did have limitations however, so she researched and developed a range of hand painted brass flowers and foliage & is now able to offer over 70 varieties with new ones being developed all the time. She had to invent her own modelling tools too, but her 30 year old tweezers are still her most important.

Gill has loved flowers since she was little, and in her spare time she gardens, paints and arrange them. In her miniature work botanical accuracy is important. Many collectors of her work share her enthusiasms, and she loves the challenge of finding the correct colours to compliment an exquisite interior, to combine flowers of the same season and to ensure that an arrangement is historically correct for it’s setting. 

“I want my arrangements to be light and airy, each flower speaking for itself and to “allow a butterfly to fly through”….and the colours must sing.”

The biggest challenges always lie ahead, (and Gill loves a challenge) She is never sure of what can be achieved until she tries. She is constantly inspired by the ideas and requirements of her collectors. Discussing these ideas and turning them into reality is what she loves most about her work.

As many of you will know her flowers are created in brass, etched from her original drawings, and these pictures show some of the important steps along the way.

1: The leaves, stems and flowers are drawn and measured. At this stage I have to decide how the twelfth scale parts of the plant will be assembled.

Measuring the Nasturtiums.

2: Designing the etching.

Designing the etching

3: The brass etching is cleaned & primed.

Primed

4: Then painted & all the parts are cut free and modelled to the required shape. 

Painting

5/6: Finally the flowers are arranged and fixed.

At present Gill is ‘retired’ from our Live KDF’s, so our online shows are a great way to see her latest botanical creations.

CLICK HERE to see more of Gill’s work.