Peonies were an essential element in the floral arrangement with which Hanneke Frankema competed in the European Floristry Championship in 2022. “I make a lot of effort to stand out with flowers.” And it was worth it, because Hanneke won the European Championship – the first Dutch winner in 38 years!
“Really it started as soon as I became Dutch champion (in 2018). Then you know that you can compete in the European Championship, but Covid messed things up. The uncertainty was annoying: is it going ahead or not? When should I start preparing? That lasted three years. I was worried that I would lose the soul – the feeling from my ideas. That’s why I tested it over and over again, but luckily the feeling was still right after all that time!”
“They reflect my style: I work a lot with iron and copper frames in collaboration with an artist. I start by drawing, and I allow my ideas free rein within the confines of the assignment. I love natural rounded lines and shapes that merge into one another beautifully, such as Art Nouveau. I make a lot of effort to stand out with flowers. The chandelier that I made is very special to me. I incorporated a lot of unusual flowers in that, like long Gloriosa that I commissioned from the grower specially, a lot of peonies and nerines.”
“I was pleasantly surprised when my name was read out. The piece that we had to create as a surprise challenge was totally not my style: square shapes and straight flowers with thick stems. Luckily I quickly came up with the idea of making a fan. I was very happy with the end result, and the jury were impressed.”
“I was soon inundated with commissions, but first I took some time for my family. A new building is currently being built next to my house where I will be giving masterclasses, both national and international. There’s a lot of demand for that. People are keen to learn techniques, and I really enjoy doing it!”