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Saying it with flowers

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ENCHANTING DISPLAY: Handmade flowers by artist George Fernandez on show at an ongoing exhibition in Thiruvananthapuram.
ENCHANTING DISPLAY: Handmade flowers by artist George Fernandez on show at an ongoing exhibition in Thiruvananthapuram.

Staff Reporter

An exhibition of a collection of handmade flowers is a big draw

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After a short sabbatical, George Fernandez is back with his adorable collection of handmade flowers.

The ongoing exhibition at the Leaf Art Gallery here showcases the latest collection of exotic flowers, handmade by Fernandez from materials as queer as soap and bread.

Flower arrangements of roses made from toilet soap, pumpkin flower made of crape cloth, ‘ixora’ made from polyster and ‘mussaenda’ made from shaded white velvet are on display at the exhibition, among other varieties. The exhibition also includes flower arrangements on interesting handmade artefacts like little ceramic bridges, artificial stone made out of cement and artificial wood made from plaster of Paris.

Fernandez, who initially ran a nursery and natural flower shop, moved to handmade flower craft following a shortage of natural flowers at his nursery.

He later devised and developed his own flower-making techniques from novel mediums.

“I have derived my own techniques from various prevalent crafting techniques. For example, I have used techniques from the Spanish doll-making craft of Lamasa for making flowers. Lamasa is basically a mix made from cooked corn flower,” he said.

Fernandez, who worked as English teacher at a school in Bangalore for more than a decade, has also written three books on the craft of flower-making.

Although he also takes craft classes at his house, the craft master says that some of the most elaborate craft techniques that he devised will remain secrets.

“There are some really special techniques I have developed which I do not want to share with anyone else,” he said.

“These creations are the result of painstaking effort. Sometimes it takes more than three weeks to do a single piece. Each and every detail, including the right material and cloth type, has to be taken care of for best results,” he said.

Despite the admiration and demand for his crafts, Fernandez does not like to sell them on commercial basis. “If I turn this into a business, I might have to compromise the quality of my work. It is for my personal satisfaction that I got into this craft, and I do not want to lose it,” he said.

However, select pieces will be available for sale on the last day of the exhibition on Sunday.


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