German Master Florist, Bjorn Kroner, is currently touring Australia (April 2013) giving a series of demonstrations and workshops. Seamus caught up with Bjorn to discuss the content of his floral design workshops, why people describe his work as “flying flowers” and what life is like when you’re living the Floral Rock Star dream…
Seamus: Do you like to work with Australian native flowers and foliage?
Bjorn Kroner: Well this is the first time for me in Australia and the first time for me to work with Australian flowers. My first impressions today were that it looks quite similar to what we have in Europe right now. I went to the market today in Perth and they were quite nice! Really very similar to Germany, I mean sure we have right now all these spring flowers coming up, because we have spring, not autumn, but still…
S – Can you get Australian natives over there?
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B – Yeah we’re getting some Australian natives, yeah definitely. Greens. Like all the protea types and all that stuff, they’re coming from Australia.
S – In your Demonstrations throughout Australia, what are the key focus areas you will be addressing in terms of techniques?
Bjorn Kroner – My first thing is that I want to show a lot of different techniques. Like a lot of them are coming from supplies of art, art stuff, like from art shops. Like I will show something with architecture paper, I will show something with acrylic colour, we will work with melted wax, we’ll be doing work with gold metal leaves, normally from picture framing. So not just different techniques but also different textures and materials.
S – So did you pre-order the things you’re going to be working with or do you work it out once you are in town?
B – No, no, I didn’t pre-order, I most times don’t pre-order anymore because I can make a list over a whole day, sitting at the bench and then finally I don’t get any of those flowers in the country where I am, so I rather be going to the market and get surprised and picking out the flowers and I think that’s much more easy and it gives me more space to design, because I am focused on colours and flowers.
S – Do you often do tours like this?
Bjorn Kroner – Yes, yes I do.
S – Quite the rock star life!
B – (Laughs) No! Not the rock star life!
S – Well I certainly enjoyed looking through your website, very cool and funky. If you don’t mind me asking – how do you make your bread and butter?
B – Well my main focus is really on workshop demonstrations, showroom decorations, fair booth decoration. And I have also my private customers in my home city. But mainly it’s the demonstrations and seminars and that’s worldwide.
S – So how did you get into floral design?
B – I was creative from since I was born, so, when I was around 13 or 14 in art class, you have to do a practice in whatever direction you want to do. I did my practice in a flower shop and from that time on I was already like “Ok, I want to be a flower designer.” So I was 16 when I was coming out of school, when I started my apprenticeship, until I was twenty, then I did my master diploma, I did several competitions, the biggest one was in Shanghai in 2010, the world cup where I got fifth place, and yeah! That’s my life – I am doing half of my life floral design already!
S – Clearly a calling then!
B – Yeah, yeah it was definitely a calling.
S – In the workshops that you’re doing in Australia, what kind of an experience can those who attend expect?
Bjorn Kroner – Well we will definitely be working with some of the techniques that I will be doing in the demonstration because I want to see if the people really understand how to use the material and the techniques.
And now some people say my floral design is like “flying flowers” so what I really love is to give a flower the space that it needs to bloom up and show all its beauty. So my main focus for the workshop members, that they understand how to bring the flower up into its perfect position. It really should be loose and open as you can have a bigger impact if you are using, like, this open free style, using the same amount of flowers that you would for something small. You know what I mean? Like a Dutch guy once told me that we can sell the air that is around and through the flower. If you get the flower in the perfect position, then we can sell the air too!
S – So what kind of artistic work outside of flowers influences your designs?
B – Well a lot of art stuff, I am really into art, young art, and fashion design is also a big thing for me. And this is all in combination, like I am also doing some product development for a porcelain company. So I am interested in all kinds of different materials and textures and trying to bring this all together with floral design. Because these days floral designers are not floral designers by themselves any more, our job description has changed a little bit. Now you have to have the whole package, you have to understand interior design,the colours and the textures, and the containers. So it’s everything not just flowers any more.
S – What’s your goal for the future, professionally?
B – Well I am moving next year to Berlin, so we’re trying to open up a space; we’re calling it the Green Table. It’s a space that you can rent, but it’s also my working place, so it’s like an event location with a big table in the middle, and a cooking space. And we’ll be living in the back of this space, so not like a flower shop but like a gallery, art space.
S – So the floral equivalent of Andy Warhol’s Factory!
B – Yeah yeah! Something like that! I don’t really like Andy Warhol but something like that! That would be really cool.
See below for the Bjorn Kroner tour details, ticketing available at www.matthewlanders.com
Bjorn Kroner 2013 Australian Tour
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Wednesday 17th April | Melbourne Demonstration
Glen Eira Town Hall | Caulfield | 7.30pm | $75ea
Thursday 18th April | Melbourne Workshop
Marjorie Milner College | Surrey Hills | $550ea (limited places)
All Materials, Sundries & Lunch Supplied
Saturday 20th April | Sydney Demonstration
Balmain Town Hall | Balmain | 7.30pm | $75ea
Sunday 21st April | Sydney Workshop
Balmain Town Hall | Balmain |$550ea (limited places)
All Materials, Sundries & Lunch Supplied
Wednesday 24th April | Brisbane Demonstration
Comfort Inn Robertson Gdns | Nathan | $75ea
Thursday 25th April | Brisbane Workshop
Comfort Inn Robertson Gdns | Nathan | $550ea (limited places) All Materials, Sundries & Lunch Supplied
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Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd. Photos sourced with permission from https://www.bjoernkroner.de/
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