Essex based florists Curtis & Ford have been awarded two medals in the RHS Chelsea Florist of the Year competition 2012. An amazing achievement! they are only business to gain two medals in the same year. The floristry competition attracts hundreds of entrants from around the country and showcases the best in professional floristry. The double success comes after winning international awards in 2011.
The brief was to design and produce a large Chandelier to be hung at a Jubilee dinner for the Queen. Amy Ford gained a Silver-Gilt medal for her stunning white and lace chandelier design. Amy Curtis was awarded a Bronze medal for her beautiful design that had a very natural and organic feel to it.
Amy has worked in floristry for 9 years; she has studied business management at A Level and gained a Foundation Degree in professional floristry at Writtle College. Amy is relatively new to competing and was thrilled to qualify for this years Chelsea Flower Show. She said “Many florists compete to qualify for the Chelsea final their entire careers without ever qualifying… so the fact that one of us qualified was fantastic but to both qualify and to both achieve a medal is just fantastic, we are very proud of all the hours of work we have put in!”
Amy’s design featured hundreds of branches bound with paper covered wire holding tiny test tubes. The tubes contained phalaenopsis orchids, freesia, roses, eryngium, anemones and spray roses. It was adorned with beads, crystals drops and diamante brooches. The intricate design took over 350 hours to complete.
Amy has completed A Levels in Art & Design, Photography and English Literature. She found floristry at 21 after studying Glass design. Amy has since gone on to complete levels 2, 3 and 4 in floristry. Amy gained the highest practical grade in the country for her Level 4 exam.
To prepare for Chelsea piece Amy painstakingly made over 100 panels with fabric, beads and wire. They were sewed, crocheted and beaded; each panel took 2.5 hours to make. On the competition day Amy worked from 4am on Wednesday right up until the final whistle at 12.45am Thursday to finish her design. She used various techniques on her piece, she layered and wove bark and leaves onto the panels and dotted flowers throughout. Amy made 18 beaded panels for each tier using a total of 20,000 beads!
Many of the flowers were glued onto the design but some of the more fragile flowers were placed in tiny test tubes. Most of the flowers were arranged in a massed style, Amy used reindeer moss, phalaenopsis orchids, white Lydia spray rose, Romantic Pepita spray rose, tanacetum, triteleia, spray carnations, brunia, cotton bush and hyacinth.
Both designs are now on show at Serenity Bridal, 17 St.Botolphs Street, Colchester.