Monday, April 27, 2009

My Glamelia Bouquet

I have been getting a lot of requests for tips on how to make a glamelia or where to get a glamelia or hey can you make me a glamelia? So I thought I would actually make a small sample for my friend to truly see if she wants one and how long it would take me to make one.

First of all, I posted about this last year
I made a true glamelia with gladioula petals. After all this is what it is. A composite bouquet or corsage made up of glad petals. The bouquet was made more poplar by KatherineHeigl when she used it as her wedding bouquet.

But from a book I have had for some time now, it is actually called a Malmaison Rose.
Here's a short excerpt from my book:
"The malmaison rose was perfected by Constance Spry and based on an early victorian tradition-creating an overblown rose form the petals of many perfect roses. All the rage in the 40's and 50's,. malmaison roses were made regularly for women attending society balls."

So it had instructions on how to make one, how its constructed, and the scary part is that it warns that when your hands get too hot, you must take a break or you will damage the petals and have to start again.
excuse me?
How serious can this be right?
Well........let's just say I mean to make a large sample but said "oh hell no" after 2.5 hours of wiring..........

I made a simple red bouquet using only bacara roses.
Perfect for a classic Red and brown themed wedding.
Like by brooch??? I can't get enough brooches in my hot little hand :P

Then I took this bad girl apart. The bouquet pictured above took 24 roses.
Small sized for a bridal bouquet I think but you take the dress and bride and make the bouquet to scale right? So I thought I would show you the size of this glamelia bouquet I made.
Here it is next to a regular rose.

Here it is with my daughter holding it.

Here is my glamelia in all her glory. :)

The Skinny:

It took for freaking ever. After 2 and half hours of wiring I wanted to call my friend and just say

Why you ask?
First of all, you must tear apart these roses and then pick out the petals that are relatively the same in size and shape AND color. I stress color because you can see where in my flower I used petals that were the right size and shape, but too red. So it's not the flash or anything, they were just truly a lighter shade than the rest. For a sample it's ok, even for the day of it would be alright, but I am a bit picky and it's irking me that I left it that way.

Secondly, when you get going you have to be careful when you are wiring because I cannot tell you how many petals I ripped apart, the best method for me was a hairpin technique then carefully pressure where the wire meets the petals. Even then I would wire two or three tear one, wire two or five, tear two in a row.

Third- they were right, if your hands get hot,. you do tend to manhandle the petals and make more mistakes so you have to take breaks. I would wire like 10 -15 then I would take a breather then, do like 30, then stop for a minute to unclench my fingers.

I would not want to do this with any other color. ESPECIALLY white because white bruise easily and some people still believe the only way to prevent this is my using white latex gloves when designing with white roses. I personally don't do it, but I know I would not be able to wire rose petals with gloves on and if a red small glamelai took me almost 3 hours from start to finish, then a large white one would take at least 6-8 hours I think.

The deep red hides, blemishes and its pretty easy to cover up mistakes once you get going as long as you space them right.

I left it out all day today in this vase.
I'm kinda diggin how this looks, but not enough to make these as centerpiece.
So don't even think about asking!!! lol

In the end, I think it will last through the day ok if you use a small foam bouquet holder as your mechanic and are super duper careful all day long. There is no water source so I would say this is ok for like winter, early spring weddings. MAYBE fall? I don't know about the summer or in areas where flowers will tend to wilt whether they are in water or not. Like a poor Savannah bride who emailed me about this bouquet. I felt bad for her and suggested she make a silk one because if it's done right, no one will be able to tell!

This is what was left. all the little petals...poor babies.

Hope you like my glamelia/malmaison rose bouquet!


LotusHaus said...

wow, you are a trooper! i have it on my list to try to make a glamelia to mimick a huge lotus but of course i know it would take forever, and you just proved it, lol. you seriously would have to charge beaucoup bucks to make this worthwhile for sure! but what you did is sooooooo gorgeous! Fantastic work! Here is a link to a wedding we dj'd where the bride had a white one made with an amazing brocade/jewelled stem wrap...

Bree said...

That would be too cute if you made a lotus! I molded(ok, I tried to make a lotus)a lotus out of wire mesh. I had to make a napkin right holder,I will have to post about it later. :)
*love* that brocade/jeweled stem wrap, thanks for sharing.

I'm thinking that a glamelia for a bride would be ok, but to make one for an entire wedding party would be a bit much! My poor fingers tips would be out of commission for a looooong time! lol

Adizat said...

I love it. Very cute. I recently learned via JHC book that you can glue the petals to the cardboard of a ribbon roll. This appears to be a easier method however, I haven't yet tried it. It's on my many to do list. hope you have a great day!

Sprout said...

I have to share my glamelia story -
The first flower shop I worked in, about 20 years ago, was an FTD shop and we had those big FTD design books to help customers place an order. Different chapters for everyday, sympathy, wedding, etc.

The design books come with a workbook which has the "recipe" for each arrangement and a place for you to put your flowers prices and labor and price the arrangements.

The big boss had the bookkeeper price out all the arrangements using the workbook and put the prices in the design book for the customers.

What does this have to do with glamelias you may ask? Well, at some point we noticed there was a big uptick in the number of weddings that had glamelia bouquets for all the maids. A ridiculous number of weddings. We hated making them, they were so labor intensive, bleh. As worker bees we weren't privy to the pricing and booking of the weddings, but one day, after a glimpse of a wedding order, we saw the price on the glamelia bouquet - $20!!! The bookeeper had no idea how much work they took, just that the workbook said they used 8 stems of glads!

We lost that page - fast!

Everyone I know stopped wiring and taping these at least 10 years ago and switched to adhesive. Still tedious, but much easier on the hands.

If you want to learn more about composite flowers, chck out these instructions at Florist's Review for a composite calla bouquet - very lovely.

Bree said...

Yep, I have glued one together but I didn't like the shape??? For some reason I felt it was shaped like a cone for some strange reason but I chalked it up to my mechanic. Although I would be curious to try the ribbon card board. I also wanted to make a composite table runner where I made a flat sprawled out rose. A friend of mine added it to her dress for bouquets to art and I thought it looked really good.

Hilarious story! How funny that people that sit behind desk and don't actually do the work undervalue what we do, huh? lol, I'm glad you guys "lost" that page, hehe.
Yes, I will glue the first chance I get! I wanted to try to see if the wiring to foam made it easier to manipulate the shape and to provide extra moisture to the petals? Do you think it makes a difference?

YES! I saw that composite calla in an issue a while back and I wanted to make one! It's sooo pretty> :)

Janet from floral verde emailed me this link to ubloom on composite flowers and I think it's a pretty darn informative how to if anyone is interested.

Rhonda Patton Weddings said...

Yep glamelia's are back but it's tedious and labor intensive - geez!
Great work, it came out beautiful!

tamura said...

It's really beautiful, i want my wedding bouquet like this too. The instructions are good but if you can do a video it would be great for the newbies like me.