SPRINGVILLE, Utah (AP) Chad Wright rattles off names of flowers like a grocery list as he pulls three vases off the shelf for his students.
Leather leaf, lepto, wax flower and one hot lady rose.
The two women look at him nervously, but they are excited. Its their first day at Steiners Floral Design School in Springville, but with only 10 classes in five weeks, they move quickly.
They start by making a corsage, learning how to pick flowers based on color and shape and texture. As the class evolves, students learn all the mechanics to making arrangements, but they always make a corsage. Every class begins with a corsage.
To make money as a florist, you have to be quick, said Cherie Wright, who works at the floral shop with her husband. If you cant quickly make a corsage, you arent going to make it.
Each class they make about three arrangements, creating 30 in the five-week session, taking each one home to show off to family and friends. Everything from classic to modern, from a corsage to a brides bouquet to a funeral display.
Everyone has their strengths, said Chad Wright. For some, more contemporary bouquets are easier, and for others they arent.
Wright admits that the bows can be the most troublesome, but he can put them together in seconds, putting all the others to shame.
Im going to have to practice at home, said Teddy Parker, a student from Orem, Utah. The bows will take a while.
With his 35 years of experience, Wright is among the best floral designers in the business. Since the day he graduated from BYU with a degree in horticulture, he has been creating arrangements. He and his wife started a flower shop in Twin Falls, Idaho, and over the years owned seven shops in Sun Valley, Idaho; St. George and Springville.
You want to be taught from the best, said Emily Christensen of Mesa, Ariz., who took the course in April 2009. His personality, work ethic and eye for design really separate him from everyone else.
According to Wright, some people are designers and some are florists. He is a designer, creating art with flowers.
The artistry of floral design is based on textures, color, size and lines. Working in triangles, he puts the biggest flower the focal point on the bottom and the smallest at the top.
But, he cautions the students, as any artist knows, some rules are meant to be broken.
Designing is a whole different level, Wright said. Many people can look at a picture and copy it, but not many can create the picture.
The Wrights began teaching the courses about 10 years ago, after several people came to Chad to learn floral design. The only education people could get in floral design was through a horticulture program at BYU or BYU-Idaho. They realized they could focus on design and offer anyone with an interest or hobby one-on-one courses four times a year.
Over the years, theyve taught hundreds of students from all around the state. Some have even become their competitors.
We dont mind, said Cherie Wright. We want to share our knowledge with everyone. We all make more friends and have more classes.
Christensen credits Chad Wrights classes for landing a job at a floral shop in Mesa that specializes in weddings. She learned it all the speed, her creativity and basic mechanics from the back of the shop in Springville.
I know that Im going to go far because of what he taught me, Christensen said. You dont come across teachers like that all the time.