This past August, we held our very first Master Class with the talented and charming Max Gill. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect day or setting, our class was held at a unique floating home located at the Oregon Yacht Club. We started the day off with Max, who has a background in theater, demonstrating his process of creating a large scale arrangement. We had shopped for the flowers the day before at the Oregon Flower Growers Association and had flowers from many local farms, such as Indigo Gardens and Charles Little. Max even escaped our clutches a few times to go forage in the nearby woods for even more flowers and foliage to use (he found some lovely wild clematis growing nearby). Max did an excellent job at showing the students his process and answering any questions they had. His theater background has helped to inspire how he creates his arrangements through placement and movement of the flowers. He created an exquisite arrangement for everyone to admire and use as inspiration for their own piece.
After Max's demo, we broke for lunch. Teri Gelber, owner of bespoke tea company, T Project, brought in a wonderfully catered lunch of NW cuisine. The food was amazing, and the students all relaxed and got to know each other with a glass of rosé and plate of almond cake before taking on the much anticipated task of creating their own arrangements.
Each student had a large concrete vessel to work with and Max taught them how to create a wire frame for the inside of the vessel which allows for more control while designing. The students started by using local foliage, such as Pacific Ninebark, to create a base of greens to shape their initial design. Once they felt they were at a good spot, the fun part of adding flowers began. They had lovely Koko Loco roses, chocolate cosmos, dahlias, zinnias and many other beautiful blooms to work with. Max gave each student help and guidance along the way. Although the temps started to rise and it got pretty hot at the later part of the day, the flowers held up and a few students even took a dip in the river to cool off.
Every student had such a unique and gorgeous arrangement, we were so impressed by their work! A few of them had never worked with flowers before, which is hard to believe when you see the stunning designs they made. At the end of the day we toasted to a day well spent, a day I think we will all remember as being very special. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful first Master Class and we are so grateful for everyone that was a part of it.