When I create something new my heart is fueled for making more. My inspirations are everywhere, I literally cannot stop envisioning how to make more beauty, because beauty is never enough in this world. I embrace every opportunity to recreate a vision and turn it into a piece of art that will last forever.
Flowers have always been my source for happiness and creative inspiration. My very first memories of my childhood, I remember making flowers. I was born and raised in Bulgaria. A small European country on the Bolkanies, where most products were handmade. Flowers were an important gift and a token of appreciation on every holiday, especially Mother’s Day, which is March 8th, International Women’s Day. Men would line up early in the morning of March 8th in front of these beautiful flower shops, where Fragrant Hyacinth, Tulips and Roses would adorn the tiny tables of the polite florists in the flower markets. In kindergarten, our creative teacher helped us make a card for our Mom’s, I can see it in my mind’s eye. It was a cutout of the number “8” (March 8th) and we glued paper flowers on it, but first we shaped them with a pencil, pushed down in the center while holding it in our tiny hands. I remember that single moment when the petals magically lifted up and lined up in a 3D shape, the center – a perfect embossed circle! I didn’t know it then, but I do know now – I was bound to have flowers in my life always and always.
I’ve made flowers from materials like fabric, foil, leather, foam, shells, even from cigarettes, yes, my Dad’s cigarettes made a perfect white flower with beautiful foamy stamens. I’ve used other unconventional materials but crepe paper was the ultimate match for my inner need to express my artistic vision of my flowers’ obsession.
At the beginning, in 2015, I started out with the highest quality crepe paper, 180gr from Cartotecnica Rossi, Italy. It instantly satisfied my curiosity for possible ways of turning a flat piece of paper into a 3D object. It seemed to me as if I could do anything with that paper and it will always look beautiful! That paper thought my fingers the skills of stretching, cupping, twisting, curling, folding and I was under its spell forever.
With time and many more blooms, I began including different paper weights, but just recently I felt more comfortable with the rest of the crepe paper varieties available out there. I now make a choice for the paper based on the project I am working on. I love using Lea Griffith’s Doublette paper for its smooth and velvety texture, which is manufactured in Werola, Germany. I treat it like gold, because it is in a smaller package and a bit priceyer than the Italian crepe. I also love Lea Griffith’s fine crepe paper for it’s stretch and colors, my Cala Lilies turn out beautifully with that paper. I’ve never been too keen of using templates. I like the freedom of this art and for the challenge to use my imagination and vision for construction of a flower. I cut my own templates free hand. For some of the more complicated flowers, like Columbines, Lily of the Valley, Nasturtium and Chrysanthemum, I keep an original flower and I also draw pictures of my designs so that I can remind myself how to make it again. I wish I did that for all my flowers, but as it turns out, I am always making my flowers differently next time anyways. I am constantly trying different variations of my shapes and construction of the petals or leaves for my flowers.
Coloring of the paper is not my favorite thing to do. I do use Pan Pastels mostly for shading. For finer details, my gel pens are perfect, I’ve been known to also use glittered nail polish and inks, but in general, I love each original paper color and try to use it as much as possible without changing it. I prefer to use coloring techniques that would not disrupt the structure of the crepe paper in general.
I am grateful to be able to share my art, passion and joy of creating with people who appreciate the uniqueness of a handcrafted piece. Each item is carefully sculpted with love and patience. It is incredible to see how different materials can be transformed into something beautiful and unique, always one-of-a-kind.