A Different Take on Flowers: Australian florist adds whimsy to arrangements
An Australian florist is taking flowers to a level that few people could match, or imagine. For the past quarter of a century, Mark Pampling has been honing his skills to become one of the top floral designers in the world. Greg Navarro has the story.
From the outside, this florist shop in New South Wales might not seem to stand out from the competition.
But once you walk inside, it's easy to see that this is no ordinary shop, and that owner Mark Pampling sees flowers in a way few people can imagine.
MARK PAMPLING FLORAL DESIGNER "I think at heart I'm a basket weaver or a crafts person first and flowers have been overplayed over the top of that."
The 49-year old is modest, and renowned for his skill in designing and transforming floral projects into works of art.
MARK PAMPLING FLORAL DESIGNER "Because it is design, there are certainly guidelines, the principles of design, but within them there is a great amount of creative freedom to kind of stretch into play with those guidelines."
That creative freedom comes through in his designs where flowers are the focus, and few elements to highlight them are off limits.
MARK PAMPLING FLORAL DESIGNER "I was looking for elements to incorporate amongst the flowers that had a slightly strange, slightly scary, slightly displaced feeling and so I found chicken carcasses that I roasted and took all of the meat off and hung them within the flowers."
Pampling's career has taken him around the world through international competitions, and through teaching his craft in several countries including China.
GREG NAVARRO ALSTONVILLE "There are some challenges to working with a medium that has a specific shelf life. But Pampling says don't confuse those challenges with limitations."
MARK PAMPLING FLORAL DESIGNER "To take the ephemeral nature of the medium that I work within and to find ways to add value to that product in its short life."
After a quarter of a century in the industry, and thousands of designs, Pampling can transform a seemingly random collection of flowers in a matter of minutes.
"'Something like that."
And more importantly, he has not lost his passion for the medium.
MARK PAMPLING FLORAL DESIGNER "I'm taking each one, assessing its individual qualities and then finding a way to present it."
To show a quality Pampling says, that hasn't been seen before. Greg Navarro, CGTN, Alstonville.