Don’t worry, most people have never heard of Ganutell … it’s the art of making flowers from wire and floss. Actually, I’d never heard of it myself until I came across it while learning to make French beaded flowers. I immediately fell in love with the small, delicate flowers created using this technique.
It’s not clear exactly where or when Ganutell originated, although by most accounts it’s been around for centuries. As with most crafts, the art was passed from generation to generation without any written record of how it’s done. The technique may have become extinct were it not for the local artists on the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. Here these flowers are a tradition, and are still being made to decorate churches and for headresses and wedding favors. The craft is now generally known as Maltese.
The process of creating Ganutell flowers is quite simple … in fact, it’s very similar to beaded flowers in that it involves petals made by wrapping around a central wire … but it uses a prepared thread made by spinning a very fine wire with silk thread or rayon floss, rather than strung beads as in a beaded flower. I found that there are few resources available for instruction and supplies, and unfortunately this has led to modification of the process so that we often see items described as Ganutell that are technically not really the same.
And so, from the start I challenged myself to seek out these resources and to not only learn the basic technique, but to work to do it well. I must admit, though, I’m not speaking of dull or boring practice here. It’s great fun to play with incorporating lots of different beads and pearls and experimenting with wires of various shapes and colors.
They say that the adventure is in the journey, so I hope you’ll be joining me as I share the details of my craft.