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Floral Designs and Vases

This week I created a fun challenge for myself: Create flower arrangements with unique clay vases. I met with my friend Ana Kesselring, a renowned artist, painter, and sculptor who currently lives in Lisbon.

During this last year, Kesselring created unique vases and gorgeous plates inspired by organic shapes and colors. I was thrilled to see her new pieces and borrowed a few vessels to make this week’s floral design challenge.

Cascais Market

I went to the Cascais Market and was happy to see that my favorite flower vendor was there. Their ten or eleven-year-old son, Antonio, was puttering around with flower buckets, so I enlisted his help. I showed him Kesselring’s vases on my phone and told him about my project. He rushed off to get flowers and had suggestions about which colors would go better with a particular vase.

My morning at the flower stall was a successful one, and I told Antonio that I could not have done it without him, he smiled proudly, and I left with a box full of color and texture.

Working with Shape

Floral Design is a new hobby to me, and I have never given too much attention to the relationship between the vases and the flowers. I paid more attention to the floral design than the vase, and I was ready to go to the next step and consider the whole look.

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Kesselring’s vessels forced me to examine form and to consider how to enhance each shape with the flowers. I started my project feeling optimistic, and I had quite a few visual disasters! The floral designs were too top-heavy. I added flowers and branches individually to give the design an airy look, and some still looked like I had grabbed a bunch of flowers and put them in the vase thoughtlessly.

I spent hours removing things and putting them back into the arrangement. It took a few breaks and looks at flower design images for inspiration, and then, after a few hours, a few vases started to look pretty good!

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A Difficult Flower

My biggest challenge was to create a design around the Anthurium. I love this flower, and I discovered that I love this flower best when it’s on its own. I’ll be working with this flower for a few days.


It turns out that keeping it simple is not easy at all! I had to do three labor-intensive top-heavy vases before creating one of my favorite designs. The green vase is a small one, and the arrangement has a minimalist look. The delicate flowers look like floating droplets. The design allows you to see the space between each flower- it’s a summery design, and I am thrilled with this one!

It will take more practice to create simple, delicate, and minimal floral designs, and I’m looking forward to next week’s market visit.


Spring Flower Challenge by Marguerite

Flowers by Marguerite

How to reach Ana Kesselring

Ana Kesselring’s vessels and dishes on Instagram: Taba

Ana Kesselring on Instagram

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