Tell us about what you do. Where are ya’ll from? What inspired ya’ll to create this company? What is your goal/mission?
Ava Barany and Sarah Edwards are the two local Spokane girls that make art as the Botanical Alchemists. Using elements from and inspired by nature, we create very unique floral installations. These floral installations are pretty varied, ranging from 2D flower mandalas, to flower crowns, to fully suspended 3D pieces like dream catchers and rainbows. We have made over a hundred works of nature art in and around the Spokane area (perhaps you’ve already stumbled upon our art? A flower mandala in a local park, a colorful window display at a shop downtown, floral crowns at your best friend’s wedding, a stone labyrinth, or a piece of nature art in the shape of a giant bird, rainbow, lotus, peace-sign, turtle, snake, dream catcher, heart, sun, moon or stars). We draw our inspiration from our deep love of the natural world around us and are on a mission to share our love with you. We do a lot of art just for the fun of it, but also regularly take commissions for private and public events (including weddings, festivals, birthdays and memorials).
Where do you source your materials from?
We are avid nature collectors, always keeping our eyes open for fallen branches and gardeners cutting back their flowers throughout the season. We like to use gathered materials as much as possible and are on our arborist and gardener friends’ speed-dial when these occasions come up! We also source many of our actual roses from local florists. They clean out their coolers regularly and let us pick up what would otherwise be thrown in the compost. We like to think we are “saving” the flowers and giving them a second life in our artwork. On some commissions, we work with our handmade paper flowers and at times use both dried and silk flowers for longer lasting pieces.
If you were a plant/flower, which one would you be? Which one best describes your personality?
Let’s see, if we were plants… ha, that’s a great question. We are definitely perennial (strong and long lasting). Something colorful (we’ve both got pretty sparkly personalities). Aaaand something that likes the sunshine (we’re both so bright)! We are giggling at this question. We are gonna settle on the wild foxglove. Final answer. Most magical plant ever. It’s darling. Grows with abandon. Cannot be tamed. And it actually is used in heart medicine. Plus they have freckles 😉
What inspired ya’ll to create the rainbow structure that is hung up in our shop?
The Flower Rainbow was originally commissioned for a suspended art piece in the Riverfront park atrium. It was originally meant to be a sign of hope for the upcoming spring 2020. However, as Covid set in, the rainbow became an even more significant sign of hope. Hope for all our community to weather this storm with kindness and compassion for one and other. We are thrilled it is now moved to 1st Avenue Coffee, where it can provide some color and drama to such a special place. We want folks to know, this glorious rainbow IS available for rent for private events. We are excited for the day it can be a focal point in someone’s wedding!
How do you choose colors when you are assembling a large scale design?
Color is definitely our most favorite part of a project and something we think a lot about. Depending what materials are available at a given season, we are both really into creating gradient ombré effects. When you look at the rainbow, you’ll notice it gradually shifts from red through to purple in an almost seamless way. So pretty!