Françoise WeeksWoodlands & Botanical Couture With Françoise Weeks

June 13 - 17, 2021 Go back
a lady holding a branch that has flowers and green leaves growing out of it

During this retreat students will learn lots of mechanics to design a variety of woodland and botanical couture designs. Demos by Francoise will include different techniques and mechanics, which students will then interpret in their own designs using a plethora of flowers and textures foraged from nearby woodlands. These techniques are also applicable for any type of wedding or event work.

Terms & Conditions
  • Class description
  • Bio
  • Supply List
  • gallery

Class description

Sunday evening after dinner we will forage in the woodlands surrounding Wild Rice Retreat.

Each day we will focus on a different type of design. After a 1 hour demo by Francoise students will have 2 hours to design, emulating the mechanics that they just learned. Students will choose the flowers and textures that they want to use for their designs which Francoise firmly believes is integral to the creative process.

On Monday morning I will demo a variety of ideas for small and larger woodland centerpieces for round or long tables, ideas for buffet tables and mantles. The designs will be made in a low container in which a piece of bark or branches will be secured to start the design.

In the afternoon mechanics for woodland wreaths will be explained. They can be used as centerpieces or to be hung on a wall or doorway etc. Their wreaths are made on a wireframe, which is filled with moss. All the elements used do not require a water source - we will use small pieces of bark, branches, seedpods, pine cones, small fruits and veggies, and berries.

On Tuesday we will explore botanical jewelry. In the morning we will design rings, earrings and bracelets. I will explain the mechanics for 2 different styles of rings, earrings and bracelets/wrist corsages.

In the afternoon we will focus on necklaces and pendants. The variety of designs is limitless. We will use a lot of small succulents and sedums as well as seedpods, berries, acorns etc... and highlight the designs with flowers. Francoise will also explain the theory behind 'humidifying chambers' which allow the jewelry (made without water source) to look great for up to 5 days.

On Wednesday we will explore headpieces/fascinators in the morning. A variety of mechanics and techniques will be demonstrated.

In the afternoon we will focus on extended combs and there will be a photoshoot of student work which you can take home with you for your portfolio.

On Thursday morning we will explore a variety of designs to be made on a piece of bark or a log.


  • A valuable understanding of mechanics and how to learn to solve design issues
  • The value of textures and how to use them
  • How to look at botanical materials through different eyes


Françoise Weeks, born in Belgium, has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following. Since she started her business in Portland OR in 1996, she has done floral designs for over 800 weddings.

Her generosity of knowledge and perspective in use of floral materials, structure and techniques, create rigorous and exciting learning opportunities for her students to explore all that nature has to offer.

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, OR. She teaches workshops in her studio and offers online courses and skype classes as well. She has taught in many cities in the US as well as in Canada, Mexico, England, Sweden, Iceland, France, China and Australia.

Her dynamic work has been published in national and international magazines, as well as an Emmy- winning TV feature.

In 2019 she participated in the renowned flower shows Fleuramour and FlowerTime in Belgium. In December 2018 her book “The Herbal Recipe Keeper” was published by Timber Press.

Contact: Website:

Supply List

Students should plan to bring:

  • Clippers
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • needle nose pliers

Wild Rice Retreat and the Instructor will supply:

  • Flowers
  • Glue
  • Wires
  • Containers
  • Foam