From the Zita Elze Design Academy today, an interview with Se Hee Hong, Wedding Master Class student, August 2017, and images of her final design project: Pewter.
How long was your course?
It lasted 5 days and was my first time learning with Zita.
What were the highlights of the class for you?
Learning how Zita taps into her creative ideas was most enlightening. During our discussions I was amazed by and also loved her suggestions regarding design. This gave me a genuine insight into her unique teaching methods.
I was also amazed by the whole process from beginning to completion of the final project. Before meeting Zita, my starting point to producing a design was to look at other florists’ work to get inspiration or follow other designers’ styles. But with Zita there was no such research. I was asked to tap into my own creativity all the time. This was new to me and very challenging even though Zita was always there to help me. In the end it brought me huge joy, and I think her design process is a must experience for florists.
Did you have a special reason to choose this class?
Curiosity about Zita’s teaching method was the main reason. I’ve heard from many fellow florists that she has a special way of sharing her knowledge. I was in the bridal business so I joined the wedding master class. I planned to open a studio on my return and I thought this course could develop both my career and design skills.
Did you have a special reason to choose Zita as your teacher?
Zita started classes in Seoul but I was interested in experiencing the difference of being in London and I also loved the idea of working with her on a one to one basis.
What do you think taking the class has given you for the future?
Zita showed me what I most needed to develop right now. Meeting her has been a turning point in my life as a florist – she has completely changed my way of thinking.
What are your future plans with floristry/working with flowers?
I’m going to open a flower studio, and focus on teaching. I would like to share my experiences and my unique designs. Also I would like to help guide those who would like to be in the floristry business.
What were your colours for the project and were they chosen for any special reason?
Grey and purple were the colours in the image. They were challenging to work with in terms of flowers, but I think Zita and I ended up with a great result.
Which flowers did you select for the project and why?
I used hydrangeas, clematis and roses. The interesting thing is that I worked more on colours and textures than on specific flower types, especially since my theme didn’t fall into a ‘common colour’ palette. So I was more focused on tones at first. That said clematis is one of my favourite flowers, with its elegant lines, and I enjoyed working with it.
Do you think there were any aspects of your class and time spent at the Zita Elze Design Academy which could be improved?
The way in which Zita leads students through her unique design process was very new to me and I loved the fact that I got to work together with the teacher instead of following or copying. It was very challenging in a way because I didn’t have any specific design at first (there was no demonstration!) and I had to create something without any fixed floral reference. But after I finished my project I was happier and prouder of myself than with any prior project.
“It was lovely working with Se Hee… Her concept was unusual in that her inspiration led her to develop an idea based around renewing vows rather than for a wedding as such. I love this idea, in fact it has inspired me to renew mine sometime soon! It was interesting working with pewter and her colour palette was very beautiful. I miss my week with Se Hee, we had great fun and I hope to see her in Seoul in November for the gathering of previous Academy students.” – Zita Elze, 2017
See more of Se Hee Hong’s work on her Instagram page.
Photography © Minjoo Son