Ronni Robinson Fossilizes Fresh Flowers In Unique Pieces Of Art | Beautiful Things | House Beautiful


(quiet music) – You wanna take the journey with it. That’s how you become an expert. You kinda need to fail a
thousand times to get it right. Hi, I’m Ronni, and welcome to my studio. I create floral plaster reliefs. When I was first looking
for flowers in Philadelphia, do I want flowers that
are in a flower shop, or do I wanna preserve someone’s garden before the summer goes
away and they all die? And I thought that would
be a lot more interesting. And that’s kind of how I started
to get my work out there. (quiet music) I didn’t really come
from an art background. People go to school for this. I knew that if I wanted to
make a business out of it, if I wanted to do anything with this, I was gonna have to be disciplined
and doing it every day. (quiet, upbeat music) So right now I am creating a foundation for the actual floral design. I spend at least four to six
hours smoothing out the clay. That’s how long it takes to
get the result that I want. The more time you can spend on a piece, the better the piece is going to be. (quiet, upbeat music) This is when I would be daydreaming. (laughing) So you definitely wanna
make sure it’s even. So I need a little more here, and I need to press
that down a little bit. (quiet, upbeat music) I’m going to start putting
some flowers on there. (quiet, upbeat music) That little petal right
there, little tiny one. It’s out of place, but it’s perfect. I always have to pick them myself because I’m looking for certain shapes or I’m looking for a certain movement. Those are like the little surprises. I always look for them. I grew up in a ghetto, so there wasn’t a lot of nature around. It was always concrete jungle, but you could always find flowers
coming through the cracks. The only thing I ever
carried on me was my Bible. Eventually, I would steal the
flowers from out of the ground and put them in the Bible, without knowing that
I was preserving them. I just wanted to be able
to look at them again, just in case I didn’t
see any more flowers. So it started a long time ago for me. I try to keep things away from the center, especially for your first piece. (quiet, upbeat music) I also like the idea that
I can create a pattern. It wouldn’t matter where I started it. (quiet, upbeat music) Queen Anne Lace, as much as I love them, they take about a week
to get all the bits out. Just takes a really long time. I’m gonna be honest, this is like, record. I’m gonna be aggressive,
I’m like, just get in here. So once the plaster settles, I then mix it before painting in the floral details. Kinda just let it fill itself in. Basically, when I’m doing
this part right here, I’m doing my best to not really interrupt or disturb the clay. Because if you like, if you smear it, you’ll see it on the other side. So this right here has
to set just a little bit because I’m gonna pour the
color layer on top of it. And we don’t want the white
details to spread out. So we have to let it set. We want it to be moist, not wet. (upbeat music) So because there’s so
much moisture in the clay, it’s taking a little bit
longer for it to set. (upbeat music) Okay, I think we’re pretty good now. We’re ready to go. (quiet, upbeat music) Got about five or 10 more minutes before I place this in there. We don’t want it to fall,
so it’s not ready yet. We moved here about a year
ago from Philadelphia, just to get out of the
city hustle and bustle grind of everyday life. This is Owl. He always comes to the fence. He’s our neighborhood watch. (laughing) There you go, this way,
here, oh, there we go. His hair got like styled, I
love this, I love the top. He came and greeted us our day one here, when we looked at the house,
and that’s why we moved in. We’re like, “We’ll take it.” I think that’s Romeo. We’ve got Punch, the
one with the white nose. (quiet, upbeat music) I was talking about those little details, like this little petal
here that’s flipped over, I love that. Or these overlapped
areas that you can see. One of the best parts is
this little shape right here. I like how it curves with the plaster, the white plaster caught all of that. And it’s very random, I like that too. (quiet, upbeat music) So this right here is my first piece. Everything is kind of wild
here, there’s really no design. Like the, you can even see, like the finish is not as smooth. This is what I mean, you have to spend a lot of time on the clay because if you don’t, all
these details get picked up. I think my favorite part, honestly, is the moment before I flip it over. Because it’s the time that I tell myself, it’s okay if it’s not a good piece. It’s when I am reassuring myself that I have tomorrow to do another one. One day, I’m gonna turn that piece over, and it’s gonna be everything
I imagine it to be. Until then, it’ll be a work
of art at the present time. And whoever gets that piece, it’s as good as I could be at that moment. (quiet, upbeat music)

8 thoughts on “Ronni Robinson Fossilizes Fresh Flowers In Unique Pieces Of Art | Beautiful Things | House Beautiful

  1. What a lovely person and what beautiful art! And I love that she moved in because of the next door llamas. What a sweet life

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