About Paper Thistle
I am Johanna Summers - a paper flower artist. I create hand-crafted crepe paper flowers in my studio based in my Victorian fisherman's cottage on the Moray Firth in Scotland. I have always been creative - finding fulfillment in lots of art and craft projects such as drawing, painting, knitting, crochet, soap and candle making as well as gardening and cooking.
I think crepe paper is nicer than polyester!
Artificial flowers have been made for centuries. The ancient Egyptians used linen and horn shavings. The Ancient Romans use gold and silver while the Chinese used rice paper. Today, polyester which is a synthetic, man-made polymer, is the main material for manufacturing artificial flowers. There are hundreds of artificial flower factories in the Pearl River delta area of Guangdong province in China. Polyester flowers and plants are now exported throughout the world.
My crepe paper flowers are different. Each petal is cut out by hand and each flower is individually made. I use the finest Italian and German crepe papers. I study flowers and foliage in nature to guide and inspire me.
Creativity - it runs in the family!
I come from an artistic family who give me a great deal of inspiration and encouragement. My mother was a designer, my father an architect and my brother is an artist and printmaker. My great aunt was an art teacher who trained at the Glasgow School of Art in the early 1930s. My grandmother enjoyed art and crafts as a hobby and I have some of her needlepoint and crewel work that I find inspiring
Gardens as a source of inspiration
Gardening is also a great passion in my family. My mother is very fond of her garden and my grandparents were also passionate gardeners.