Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Read: Tropical Colors: Art of Living With Tropical Flowers by by Sakul Intakul and Wongvipa Devahastin Na Ayudhya

This book is a must if you want to learn how to utilise tropical flowers in arrangements. To me, it's a must-read because I live in an equitorial region and it's a way of fully appreciating the beauty and natural environment around you.

Sakul Intakul was a pioneer really because it's only in recent years that this idea of using native flowers and humble materials to achieve a light, glass-clear look has really caught on with the more "modern" restuarants and hotels. He was one of the first to use tropical blooms in tandem with unusual materials such as chicken wire and humble materials like leaves, reeds, or airy forms crafted of strips of bamboo, in a contemporary way.

The book is a feast of colour for the senses and a store of useful insights. For example, he compares the difference in tropical and temperate flowers to the nature of the people in the society, noting that tropical flowers are often very small, found in communal clusters and more neutral in colour, hence to work with them you have to understand that they always hold attention as individual blooms, rather you have to find ways to complement the flowers and create arrangements that will accomodate and showcase their delicate and subtle intricacy.

The creative floral arrangements consistently achieve elements of surprise and visual appeal while only occasionally striking a jarring note. From highly dramatic, large-scale installations to meditative pairings, the book provides some great ideas that can be adapted for home use, so you should totally at least flip through them.

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