Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Exquisite Book of Paper Flower Transformations, by Livia Cetti. Review.

Playing with size, shape, and colour to create spectacular paper arrangements
By Livia Cetti, photographs by Kate Mathis
Abrams 2017
Paperback £14.99/$24.95 US/$29.95 CAN
ISBN 978-1-4197-2412-1

Star rating: *****

Paper flower artiste Livia Cetti has set a new standard for paper flower perfection. Her staggeringly realistic paper blooms are indeed exquisite. This new book is the companion volume to Exquisite Paper Flowers, which came out three years ago. The new book adds 25 new flowers to the repertoire, and then gives suggestions on creating arrangements.

Livia Cetti categorizes her flowers by shape: Globe, Saucer, Cone, Rectangle, Bell, Arc, and Spike. You create an arrangement by balancing the shapes. Globes include Allium, Eden Rose, Hydrangea and Rhodendron. Saucers: Cornflower, Desert Rose, Hellebore. Bells: Crocus, Narcissus, Paperwhite. Arc: Lily of the Valley, Honeysuckle. Spike: Coleus, Delphinium ... to give you a taster of what is in store.

The subtle coloration of the flowers is achieved by painting white crepe paper with fabric dye. The petals have a tie-dye appearance. Textured paper (Canson) is used for the leaves. The flowers are assembled using standard floristry materials: stretchy florist’s tape, wire stems. Each flower has detailed step-by-steps.Text is accompanied by numbered photos. Templates for the flower petals and leaves are provided back-of-book.

Once basic competence is achieved, the author encourages the maker to play with scale and colour. Example: super-sized Lily of the Valley. It works a treat! 

The 15 projects include ideas for wreaths, bouquets, and imaginative display techniques. 

This is a large format book with lavish production values.The photography is superb, and the graphic design admirable.The chat at the beginning of each project is welcoming – Livia Cetti welcomes the reader with experiences from her professional life as a superstar paper flower creative. 

So – if your preferred paper flower style is realistic rather than stylized, this book (and the author’s previous title) are your go-to resources.

Note: I was provided with a review copy of this title.