GRANVILLE – She is undeniably multi-talented.
“My sister and I,” Evelyn Frolking recalls, “lived a country life of daily chores tending to a barn full of horses, plus a few cows and sheep as part of 4-H projects. We have shown horses almost every summer weekend, some local shows and some far away. The favorite “get out of school” card that we played hard at the time was, “Goodbye, we’re off to a horse show!” Despite these absences, we were good students and took our studies seriously.
“I was in love with drawing and painting as a teenager,” she continued, “and I saw a career in art ahead of me when I received a scholarship in junior year. high school year to attend Saturday art classes at Columbus College of Art and Design Flowers weren’t in my world back then, except for the ones we enjoy in our yard and garden.
Today, Frolking is an extraordinary florist. She owns and operates Studio Artiflora in Granville.
“Looking back,” she says, “my unrealized artistic career led me rather accidentally to merge this dormant passion with floral design. I left public education after teaching writing at Sint Maartenscollege in Maastricht, the Netherlands, as a Fulbright professor, and I toyed with the idea that art and flowers might be my new adventure.
“A year in the land of flowers,” she continued, “seeped into my soul and gave me confidence that I could do more with my life. I packed my bags and went back in the Netherlands where I obtained a Dutch floral design certificate from the Boerma Institute of Dutch Floral Design in Aaslmeer.The following year, 2004, I returned to set up Studio Artiflora, a home-based floral design studio in my 1890s home, Granville.
Frolking was first raised in Gahanna, but when he was 12 the family moved to rural Alexandria. She graduated from Northridge High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State.
“Coming to OSU,” she recalls, “art became a natural curriculum. It didn’t last long, however, as I realized that teaching art might be my most reasonable career path and I didn’t care to share that part of me. So I switched to English and thought I would like to teach others to write because I also liked to write.
Frolking has taught writing at Northridge and Newark High Schools, Welsh Hills School, and most recently Denison University. She is also the author of a book and freelances for several local publications.
Still, she says, “I’m inspired by the natural world around me, and you’ll find buckets of sticks, sticks, branches, and all sorts of found objects on the big porch of my house or in the barn. I have stayed true to my Dutch floral roots and the design style of my work is distinctly European and different, as my loyal clients tell me.
Richard Prystowsky, President and CEO of TCR Strategy, LLC, is one such loyal client.
“Evelyn’s work is unique among the work of the many florists I have used over the years,” Prystowsky said. “Exceptionally gifted and creative, she has a true artist’s eye for flower arrangements. His remarkable work has never disappointed. Its dedication to sustainability is also quite commendable.
“My work in floral design,” Frolking replied, “reflects me, I believe – creative, unpredictable, risky and more than a little adventurous. I cherish the personal relationships with those who buy my work. They trust me for their deliver designs that will surprise and remember them.Flowers are my friends.
“I’ve worn many hats in my life,” she concluded. “I could stop everything and sit down, but it’s not in my DNA. I love the work I do. I created Studio Artiflora as a floral design studio where flowers become art. It suits me well and I will stick to it.
For more information, log on to www.artifloragranville.com.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series about people and their jobs – whether it’s unusual jobs, fun jobs, or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at [email protected] or 740-328-8821.