Meet another one of our most inspirational paper flower artists… the lovely Lucia Balcazar! In this interview, Lucia introduces you to her paper flower making practice and how she’s come this far. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for even more interview inspiration as we sit down with some of our other favorite Lia Griffith community members!
LG: Where did you learn to make paper flowers?
LB: With the book Paper to Petal by Thus Farrell. It is a great book to get familiar with materials and fun techniques. I also looked online for tutorials and videos. With time, I started developing my own techniques and now I have tutorials of my own.
LG: Tell us about the first paper flowers you made.
LB: I made my first paper flowers during a Boston snowstorm that kept us inside the house for two days. I had just finished art school and used what I had around the house — very thick, bendable wire instead of floral wire, blue painter’s tape instead of floral tape, and fine art papers with zero stretch instead of crepe paper. The results weren’t great, but I fell in love with the craft immediately.
LG: What do you love most about making paper flowers?
LB: I love that I can use paper flowers as small canvases where I can get creative with paint and paper details. I seek to create small paintings within my flowers and to incorporate themes into my paper bouquets.
LG: What’s your greatest challenge when making paper flowers?
LB: It’s hard for me to get the botanical details right. The truth is I don’t know much about real life flowers! Most of my reference materials come from online pictures and books. So oftentimes, I’ll get the size completely wrong.
LG: Where does your design inspiration come from? How do you develop a flower design?
LB: I find most of my color inspiration in museums and art books. When designing a bouquet, I like to collaborate with brides and incorporate their ideas and suggestions into the bouquet. The seasons and current events definitely affect my color choices as well.
LG: What kind of paper do you love to use?
LB: I use almost exclusively doublette 90g crepe paper for my petals because it absorbs paint beautifully and has a smooth texture. For centers and details, I like to experiment with all types of paper, including florist crepe, fine crepe, and other fine art papers.
LG: What are your go-to tools when it comes to paper flower making?
LB: My alcohol inks and aluminum foil for painting the paper. My tiny scissors for fringes and small details. And my glue stick!
LG: Do you have a paper flower making top tip you could share?
LB: Of course! I wet my paper with a wide brush before painting it. This way, the paint bleeds into the paper and creates beautiful patterns. I also use polymer clay in some of my centers for a smooth texture.
LG: What advice would you give to someone wanting to make paper flowers?
LB: Don’t be too precious with the paper (like I was at the beginning!). Experiment with it, wet it, paint it, wrinkle it. You’ll develop your own tips and tricks very quickly.
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