Blossoming beauty from bottles
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 March 2014
Julia McIntosh photography 2013
Liverty Everson-Nightingale, is an artist and re-creative sculptor, creator Flottles flowers from her home studio in Cornwall
Photography by: Julia Mcintosh
"Using plastic bottles to create something new and wonderful"
Flottles™ are stunning hand-sculpted flowers with a unique twist. Featuring vibrant artwork, they bloom as beautiful decorations, bridal flowers, hair accessories and broaches. Her work has featured in window displays, photo shoots, sculptural installations and wedding events. Alongside designing flowers for individuals, clients include businesses such as hair salons, a hotel and weddings. And the unique twist? Flottles™ begin their life as discarded plastic bottles before they are beautifully re-created.
‘I first created Flottles flowers 13 years ago as a creative sideline to my career as a teacher,’ says Liberty. ‘Everyone loved them. At the time the idea of reusing a material was not so in trend as it is today. Now a mum myself nurturing my own young family, I am pursuing my love of the beautiful and interesting, creating sculpture from recycled materials. I hand-create flowers from bottles!
‘Flottles are often mistaken for glass sculptures, and so I encourage people to touch them and see how they have been created. I use a material that challenges the concept of preciousness. Society places so much value on new items and materials. My work shows that a material doesn’t have to be new to be valued. I view my plastic in a way that vintage material is now viewed.It’s strong, useful and desirable when used in a creative way. Why buy new sheets of plastic when the material is readily available without using up further resources? Using plastic bottles to create something new and wonderful also provides the opportunity to raise awareness of the waste we throw away. It feels so refreshing that my customers feel a similar way; they truly value their Flottles due to their uniqueness and they bring a smile to their face. A handcrafted piece of art using re-purposed plastic bottles becomes precious to them.
Liberty will often add bright glass beads and vintage beads to her designs. ‘I’ve included silver and gold heart lockets and beads from loved one’s jewellery in bridal bouquets,’ she says. ‘I enjoy the whole process from planning a design from imagination, working with the plastic and adding colourful artwork to each flower. I’m constantly dreaming up and playing with ways to use the discarded bottles I find. I’m inspired by experimenting with new ideas! I just have to make them in to a reality.’
Models: Posey India Nightingale and Madeline Murphy
MUA: Sally Orchard
Hair: Number 8 hairdressing, Truro
Photography: Julian Mcintosh
Assistant: Shaz Lillisant
Dresses: Amanda K Bridal
With thanks to Eny’s House Estate, Penryn
Liberty’s work is set to feature in a book ‘Cornwall Inspired’ which showcases creative talent in Cornwall, due for release summer 2014.
‘I am building a reputation as a re-creative sculptor transforming unwanted materials in to vibrant, truly unique products that my clients admire. I’m changing perspectives. This makes me happy.’