An inspiring, practical and gorgeous guide to crafting the most realistic and artful paper flowers for arrangements, art, décor, wearables and more, from San Francisco botanical artist Tiffanie Turner.
The Fine Art of Paper Flowers is an elevated art and craft guide that features complete step-by-step instructions for over 30 of Tiffanie Turner’s widely admired, unique, lifelike paper flowers and their foliage, from bougainvillea to English roses to zinnias. In the book, Turner also guides readers through making her signature giant paper peony, shares all of her secrets for special paper treatments, candy-striping, playing with color and creating botanical imperfections, and shows how to turn paper flowers into gorgeous garlands, headdresses, bouquets and more. These stunning creations can be made from simple and inexpensive materials and the book''s detailed tutorials and beautiful photography make it easy to achieve dramatic and lifelike results.
"Tiffanie Turner’s creations are exquisite. Her D.I.Y. instructions for handmade marigolds, roses, dianthus and daffodils are meticulous."
—New York Times
"Under the mantra ''You must make what you see, not what you think you see,'' this book guides artisans to astonishing results."
"The first time I saw Tiffanie Turner’s work, I was speechless. In her skilled hands, crepe paper, wire, and glue became tiny (and sometimes wonderfully larger-than-life) works of floral art, beautiful enough to anchor the grandest of dining tables. While Tiffanie’s flowers hang in museums and galleries, her book makes this intriguing art form accessible to even the most novice of crafters. I can’t wait to dive into this beautifully photographed book and its rich collection of inspiring projects."
—GRACE BONNEY, founder of Design*Sponge and author of In the Company of Women
"Tiffanie and I were introduced decades ago at the San Francisco Flower Market, when I was a floral designer and she was an artist buying blooms to paint. Flowers are still her muse, but now she’s immortalizing them in a different medium. In an age when everything is fast paced and fleeting, it’s invaluable to create and share lasting beauty—and that’s exactly what Tiffanie does in this book."
—KATE BERRY, style director of Domino magazine
"This is a true labor of love from a truly passionate artist. Not only is Tiffanie’s attention to detail awe-inspiring, but so is her generosity of information! This gorgeous book is basically like getting the key to a treasure box filled with years of Tiffanie’s self-taught knowledge, brilliant tips and tricks, and, of course, more paper flowers than you can even begin to imagine."
—DANIELLE KRYSA, founder of The Jealous Curator and author of Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk
"The first time I saw Tiffanie Turner’s breathtaking creations I did a double take. ‘Paper? Impossible!’ And yet sure enough, they are. And as such, they are utterly spectacular.
The Fine Art of Paper Flowers is an in-depth instructional book for us mortals—super detailed with everything you need to know to try your hand at paper flower creation.”
—ARIELLA CHEZAR, author of The Flower Workshop
"Tiffanie Turner’s thoughtful approach to creating stunning, botanically accurate
flowers is both inspiring and encouraging, opening our eyes to new ideas to
create something of our own. From ‘very easy’ to ‘not very hard,’ her unique
techniques take away the fear, making us want to pick up some crepe paper and
make some flowers for our next party!”
—JAN HALVARSON and EARL EINARSON, founders of Poppytalk.com
TIFFANIE TURNER is a licensed California architect, fine artist and instructor in the art of paper flower making in the United States and worldwide. Her work explores nature and botanical specimens in extremely large and sometimes very small scales, in paper. Her work has been exhibited in the San Francisco Bay Area’s Bedford Gallery, Jack Fischer Gallery, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, where she was the artist-in-residence. Tiffanie has appeared in
American Craft, the
San Francisco Chronicle, and
O Magazine and has been featured online on Design*Sponge, The Jealous Curator, and Poppytalk, among others. Raised in the woods of New Hampshire, Tiffanie now resides with her husband and two children in San Francisco, California, where she has lived for the past twenty years.
For the past four or five years, I have spent most of my days and nights standing in a pile of paper scraps in our San Francisco flat, making paper flowers big and small. Because we are in close quarters, everyone in my unbelievably patient family has had a role in my career as a paper artist, whether as an idea person, a janitor, or both. This book, which provides instruction on how to make all of my favorite crepe-paper flowers, as well as some wonderful projects using the flowers to adorn your body and home, is the fruit of that labor. As seriously as I take this craft, paper flower making is far from rocket science. While I give detailed instructions and specific techniques for making botanically accurate specimens in this book,I really want you to enjoy the journey and feel free to be creative. The supplies needed are simple and few in number. When I first started making flowers, I worked with the same range of supplies I do now: a roll of crepe paper, a length of wire, and a bit of glue. If you can’t wait for crepe to arrive in the mail, start with bougainvillea made of party streamers. If you are out of wire, grab a coat hanger or wooden skewer. There are more materials available on the market than I use myself, and doing the work of creating paper flowers, using your hands, and learning the process are more important than using the perfect supplies.
I encourage you to approach each flower as a project unto itself. The tutorials range from “very easy” to “not very hard with a little practice.” There are flowers in this book that can take five minutes, and a few that can take five hours or more. They have been grouped primarily by the techniques you will use to make them, which loosely relate to how they grow botanically. If this is your first foray into paper flower making, start with the tutorials in “Basic Techniques & Starter Specimens” (page 21) and then the hybrid tea rose tutorial (page 59) from “My Favorite Roses.” These should build your confidence fairly quickly, but be patient with yourself at first, and use artistic license when you need to.
The biggest piece of advice I give to my students and anyone else seeking my help with paper flower making has always been this:
In order to achieve the desired results when working in realism, you must make what you see, not what you think you see.
This means working from real floral specimens, or even flowers depicted in art, whenever possible and trying to not get lost in the repetition in the form of a flower when so many flowers are actually quite irregular. It means paying attention to the details and the organized chaos that is nature and avoiding making assumptions when trying to re-create the natural world. There are as many glitches in the head of a flower as there are orderly rows of petals, which I try to recognize in my work. To assist in this, I spend a good deal of time in the tutorials talking about how to groom the petals in just the right ways, stretching, folding, and often crumpling the paper so that it catches the light and the petals appear as they would in nature. Several of the tutorials walk you through petal placement to help you attach them in the most realistic patterns and avoid the look of a flower made on an assembly line. Details like these mean a lot to me, and if you pay attentionto them I promise you great results. My hope is that you will learn the skills to capture flowers the way you see them and that you will parlay those skills into making your own templates and techniques for new flowers and creations, if you so desire.