"I took home many gifts from my time at the Ponderosa centerpiece workshop in Asheville, NC this July. I would say that my day with Katie and her team was profound, breathtakingly beautiful and life changing.
One thing this workshop did for me was to resolve a question that I had deep in my spirit about what it means to be an artist or a creative person today. There's the conversation on social media that has been going around about how influencers, or people doing work with beautiful things (i.e. flowers), or even 'ordinary' people only show a curated version of themselves and how this creates false expectations and is not 'true' to life. And this discussion related to a question in me---what is the role of an artist in this world? Does an artist merely create alternative realities that people can escape to or use to cover up issues they don't want to face? Is being an artist about indulging escapism?
My time with Katie showed me that it's possible to create in a way that invites people into true healing and into experiences that open new realms of possibility for their lives, not just obscures their existing realities. There is a marked difference between creative acts that reveal truth and being able to produce pretty things that are mere distractions. I feel like Katie gave me tools to pursue a life of true creativity, not just some slight-of-hand tricks to improve my aesthetic with florals. I am so thankful for this, as it's not easy to find someone who lives this difference. What stood out to me most about meeting Katie in person is her character and strength that is apparent in how she looks at each person in her presence. She is fierce and kind. She is a true teacher. She will see you."
"The moment when you first began making your bouquet as you were telling us bits of your life’s journey, I realized that the workshop would be more than just me getting to play around with flowers under the guidance of someone whose work I truly admire. I recognized that the following days would also be a learning experience about myself."
"I’m sure many have said it before me, but the workshop was truly glorious, genuinely like nothing I’ve experienced before. Way more than just flowers. No end of my friends and family have said what an influence it has had on me; apparently I’m much happier, lighter and sparkier . . . Thank you also for helping me to start believing in myself. I didn’t realise quite how much confidence plays a role in this creative world, but it really does."
- Jennie, Quintessentially Wild (2017)
"I don't even know where to begin!! The entire experience of traveling to Oregon to work side by side with Katie still feels like a dream. A really good one you don't want to wake from. From the beginning Katie was thorough to find out about me, personal and work. She made me think and see beyond my current situation before I even left for the workshop and I liked the questionnaire she had me fill out before I left. The workshop is 100% about you the student, and what you want to leave with. Completely customized and unique to you. That part feels good knowing there won't be things that overlap and that the techniques and questions I have will be addressed. I think the best part of the workshop was having Katie let me peek into her world and her everyday life. I had a ton of questions related to her business and how things were set up and she could talk through them and show me at the same time. She's so relatable and easy to be around. I could be myself and be vulnerable which made learning and critique that much more meaningful."
-Jill, Layered Vintage (2016)
"Katie mentioned the workshop would be more than just flowers and it truly was way beyond that. It was a day full of inspiration, kindness, joy, and growth. I can’t imagine a better way to learn and grow as a florist and in the community we are in. I’d highly suggest it to those wanting to learn, those wanting to play, and those wanting to collaborate. I’ll forever be thankful for the time spent there."
-Joslyn Kelly, Lavender Fox Florals (2018)
"Katie's workshops help you find your inner artist. It's part therapy, part mechanics, and all amazing!"
Martha White, Free Range Flowers at Martin Farm (2018)
"Katie's workshops help you find your inner artist. It's part therapy, part mechanics, and all amazing!"If you want to make deep connections, explore, have a day of freedom to create from the heart, hang out with other flower folks in a small group setting then Ponderosa & Thyme workshop, with the magical Katie Davis, is for you.
....and on a more personal note:-)
Being with you, Sarah, Kim and all of the attendees in the mountains was just what my soul needed.
My favorite parts were: grabbing up the soil and being grateful for it and the flower farmers, listening to and loving those around us, hearing your story and seeing and feeling how it impacts you and ultimately impacts us, being vulnerable. Were the flowers and venue beautiful? Was the food great? Did you learn something? A resounding "yes" to all of these questions but the best part, Katie, was sharing a day with someone who loves and thinks deeply, touches others and makes magic all around. I am grateful I had the opportunity to spend the day with you at the Lady Luck Farm."
Harriet Charles, South Gate Design (2018)
"Seeing your process, in which you operate in this very vulnerable, connected, emotional state really helped me to break down the walls I'd created and realize I don't need them anymore. I've found myself feeling more open to others, more vulnerable, less of a robot . . . I've found that using my creative process to heal is incredibly powerful and wonderful. So thank you for providing that experience for me (and likely many of the other participants)...It just meant an awful lot."
- Cristabel LeBlanc, Rose & Bel Floral (2017)
"It has been seven weeks now and my feelings haven't settled. The glow I had when I left Dorset that day hasn't faded at all. The love and encouragement from Katie especially, and her team and all my fellow students around me for those days hasn't diminished. I arrived feeling uncertain of my own abilities and reluctant to let anyone see my work. Since I got home I have practiced every day - even on the rubbish ones when I was sure I too tired or too busy - and been proud of what I have done. My brain hasn't stopped buzzing, not even at night, and each day I have taken another step towards making my dream a reality. I know now that I can do this, and I can probably do it pretty well. I didn't know that eight weeks ago. So, sure I am going to go on other courses with other floral artists. And I'll enjoy them and learn skill sets from them and probably absorb a little bit of their style along the way. But it was five days in Dorset with Katie that made me believe I could do it, and know that I really, really wanted to, and I shall hold those days with now dear friends in my heart quite possibly forever"
- Claire, Honeysuckle and Hilda (2016)