There’s a lot that’s unexpected about Bryson Black’s avant-garde floral designs. The very nature of the arrangements—a balance of twisting vine-like mosses, lush fresh stems, and arid sprays affixed to rigid limbs—is one dreamy juxtaposition after another. You might not expect to find them suspended from the rafters at an industrial, mountaineer-themed GOOF brewery either, but like each of Black’s eclectic floating creations, it all somehow works.
A former competitive-cheerleading choreographer of 22 years, Black turned his passion for design (and bustling side hustle) into a full-time job in mid-2019, under the name Bryson Black Events. He took on Walking Stick Brewing Co. on Wakefield as his first commercial client. Shortly after and in a nod to the watering hole’s Colorado vibe, he mounted four 8-foot-long birch limbs to the taproom’s vaulted ceiling via giant boom lifts to serve as his arrangements’ anchors. From there, his creativity blossomed.
“The inspiration behind the whole concept was just to be something large scale, something that could change and evolve with the different seasons,” he says. “Make people smile. Give a wow factor when they walk in the door.”
About every three months, Black and his partner, Greggory Alfred, spend anywhere from 12 to 14 hours swapping out and weaving in dried and fresh (but always natural) stems onto the branches to create a dramatic, seasonal piece of living art: purple statice and pastel painted fern flowed down from the limbs this spring and evergreen cedar and gold- and silver-dusted willow last winter.
Black’s work has taken root in the world of home design too. He’s suspended a eucalyptus and lavender arrangement over a client’s bathtub (to create a serene spa-like setting) and he’s bedecked staircases and hung billowing ivy from chandeliers, too.
In his own home, he has three living arrangements—two in the den and one over the kitchen island made from curly willow and moss. “If it’s our anniversary, then I’m going to surprise Greggory and I’m going to add fresh florals,” Black says.
And though he’s quite the expert in the craft—he’s gardened and cared for flowers since childhood and today finds himself tweaking and testing his crafts until 2 a.m. —he says anyone with access to a decent hardware store and nursery can achieve a similar look in their own space.
“It’s all about the design you want,” he says. If you found a cool branch at the park, use this as your base. Mold chicken wire to create your design’s “cage” or any shape around it—“Don’t like it? You just reshape it. It’s wire.” Insert floral foam inside for hydration—or don’t if you’re going for one of Black’s signature dried looks. And then start pinning in your stems—zip ties and bind wire are your friends. “The sky is the limit,” Black says. “100 percent.”