Thursday, August 27, 2015

A "paper florist" in solitary confinement

Malinda Swain spent weeks in her "studio" - six, to be exact - crafting her trademark paper flowers for three installations at this year's flower show. She jokingly refers to that time as "solitary confinement," but we should all be so lucky. She actually works in a carriage house on her father and stepmother's estate in Haverford. Back of the big house, through the garage, by the tennis court ...

A "paper florist" in solitary confinement

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Malinda Swain spent weeks in her "studio" - six, to be exact - crafting her trademark paper flowers for three installations at this year's flower show. She jokingly refers to that time as "solitary confinement," but we should all be so lucky. She actually works in a carriage house on her father and stepmother's estate in Haverford. Back of the big house, through the garage, by the tennis court ...

The rooms are crammed with the flowers from the show, which she is repurposing and adding to for other jobs. She spends hours in this place, music or podcasts playing, drinking tea, folding, folding, folding. After the show, Malinda said, she heard from several people who want her to make paper flower backdrops and other pieces for their weddings and other events, which is not all that strange.

Paper flowers are a growing trend, one that - honestly - until now passed me by. Lately, though, I've discovered that Martha is a huge fan and that artists and crafters all over the country are rediscovering this ancient art that finds fans every few decades or so.

My story about this trend, and the amazing Malinda, will be in the paper and online on May 16. And wait, wait, till you see photographer David Swanson's photographs.

Inquirer Staff Writer
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About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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