About Serena Olivieri

Serena came back to Spain after a year travelling around Asia full of ideas and colours. She studied art history in Italy and worked around Spain for several exhibitions and museums, but after that trip she wanted to start making something! So she did. She's always illustrated and painted: her mother is an artisan in Italy. She would say she found her way of producing prototypes for further series of paper products by following the handmade trial and error way. To learn more about Serena, visit her website.

El jardín del Ángel

Photo by Serena Olivieri

Visit El jardín del Ángel

  • Calle de las Huertas 2
    28012 Madrid
    Spain
  • Website

I discovered this wonderful flower shop right in the center of Madrid, Spain: El jardín del ángel, meaning, The Angel’s Garden. I actually knew this place existed, I’ve always wanted to enter and take a look, but I didn’t — ’til today!

The Angel's Garden in Madrid, Spain / photos by Serena Olivieri

I was amazed by its atmosphere: imagine a little green house with a small garden outside, surrounded by taller buildings in the center of bustling touristic Madrid. Plants everywhere, wooden furniture, some vintage chairs … even the air was cooler than outside. A beautiful place to stop and relax a bit.

The Angel's Garden in Madrid, Spain / photos by Serena Olivieri

The history of this place is also very interesting. According to the website, right beneath this greenhouse there was a cemetery for at least 300 years. It was closed around 1889 and the cemetery was moved, then the near San Sebastian church decided to rent it to the Martín family, which opend a flower shop that passed through generation for over 100 years!

The Angel's Garden in Madrid, Spain / photos by Serena Olivieri

I hope you enjoy these pictures and the flavour that comes from them!

About Serena Olivieri

Serena came back to Spain after a year travelling around Asia full of ideas and colours. She studied art history in Italy and worked around Spain for several exhibitions and museums, but after that trip she wanted to start making something! So she did. She's always illustrated and painted: her mother is an artisan in Italy. She would say she found her way of producing prototypes for further series of paper products by following the handmade trial and error way. To learn more about Serena, visit her website.

The Art of Instruction

Illustration by Gottlieb von Koch

the art of instructionI wanted to share with you a wonderful book I bought some month ago on the internet: “The art of instruction — Vintage Educational Charts from the 19th and 20th Centuries”, introduction by Katrien Van der Schueren, published by Chronicle Books.

I was suddenly struck by the illustrations: there’s something magic about educational charts, and as, an illustrator, I’m terribly attracted by the simple meaningful lines and plain colours.

“There are objects from the past that can tell a story greater than what they were originally designed to do. One such relic is the illstrated wall chart from the late 1800s and 1900s, which was created as a practical classroom aid and is now treasured for its artistic merit. Profoundly elegant and beautiful, these charts are a window into the intersecting histories of education, science, and art.” — from the introduction by Katrien Van der Schueren.

Gottlieb von Koch

“It is not enough to teach designs in schools: we must still make the school itself a museum, a kind of sanctuary where there is beauty as well as science and virtue. Let the child live, surrounded by noble works that constantly speak to him, arousing his curiosity, raise his soul … Art must come to him from almost all sides as the air he breathes” — Charles Bigot, french commissioner responsible for the investigation of classroom decor and imagery — 1880s (from ” Le Nouveau Dictionaire de Pedagogie et d’instrucion Primaire”, Paris, Hachette, 1911)

Les Editions Rossignol

The black ones up above are by painter Gottlieb von Koch and college director Dr. Friedrich Quentell and teacher Heinrich Jung. Just above are French charts from Printer Les Éditions Rossignol, they rapidly grew into one of the most well-known European publishers of primary-school level charts throughout France and Belgium. Below are rare danish examples produced under de supervision of famed Danish botanist and pioneer in ecology Dr. Eugen Warming, charts typically used as at the univeristy level.

Dr. Eugene Warming

The value of these charts is incredible, and  I’m not surprised to see people actually “hunting” vintage charts through flea markets in every country!

About Serena Olivieri

Serena came back to Spain after a year travelling around Asia full of ideas and colours. She studied art history in Italy and worked around Spain for several exhibitions and museums, but after that trip she wanted to start making something! So she did. She's always illustrated and painted: her mother is an artisan in Italy. She would say she found her way of producing prototypes for further series of paper products by following the handmade trial and error way. To learn more about Serena, visit her website.

DIY Water Lily

Photo by Serena Olivieri

Supplies

  • 2 sheets of paper (solid and vellum)
  • scissors
  • glue
  • cutter
  • little brush

[editor's note]: Serena originally created this tutorial for a spring guide that I planned on releasing on Discover Paper, but unfortunately never go around to completing the guide, at least in time to finish it this spring!

Check out the original sneak peek of this DIY over on Serena’s blog which has been quite popular in the tumblr-sphere already.

water lily DIY by Serena Olivieri

Directions

1. Draw and cut the shapes out as I did on the sheets.

2. Start with the biggest floral shape and bend the ends toward their centers.

3. Glue loose vellum petals petals to the biggest floral shape.

4. Glue all the shapes together, from the biggest to smallest.

5. For the pistil, roll the dented piece of paper and leave the last dent out, leaving it laying horizontally. You’ll glue the rest on it.

6. Glue the leaves (vellum blades) to the base of the flower.

7. Voila, you have a beautiful water lily.

About Serena Olivieri

Serena came back to Spain after a year travelling around Asia full of ideas and colours. She studied art history in Italy and worked around Spain for several exhibitions and museums, but after that trip she wanted to start making something! So she did. She's always illustrated and painted: her mother is an artisan in Italy. She would say she found her way of producing prototypes for further series of paper products by following the handmade trial and error way. To learn more about Serena, visit her website.