The most wonderful thing about art is that it enables us to live in our own unique universe because it makes it possible for us to express ourselves with whatever we want. In a way, we get to choose whatever our clay will be and what we want to create with it. As is the nature of artists, at one point or another, the artistic part in you may have wanted to do more with flowers than just dipping them in water and watch them fade away after a couple of days. Pressing is a technique that introduced a means of preserving flowers for considerably longer periods, making it possible to do almost anything with them. It’s from this perspective that below are highlights to observe when working with pressed flowers, as well as a couple of ideas regarding the magical artistic things you can achieve with them.
Understanding Pressed Flowers
Pressed flowers are basically flowers with their moisture removed, using various pressing methods; hence, extending their life. The process preserves and even enhances their aesthetic value. Like any artistic medium, for you to conquer them and be able to successfully express yourself with them, you must first understand them and how to effectively manipulate them.
Buying or Making Pressed Flowers
There are essentially two ways you can get your hands on pressed flowers; you can either purchase those that have already been pressed – leaving you with only the task of being creative, or you can opt to make them yourself. The former method is ideal for you if you feel you are not patient enough to make them, or if you are targeting the really expensive pressing techniques available. The latter option is for those who are patient and intend to enjoy the process of pressing the flowers.
There are various methods for pressing flowers. I won’t go into detail about each but I’ll list the most common ones so that you can do some research about them and determine which one will work best for you.
- Microwave Method – ideal for DIY people
- Traditional Flower Press – ideal for DIY people
- The Iron Press Method – ideal for DIY people
- The Book Method – ideal for DIY people
Choosing the Flowers and Others
Art is all about creativity, and creativity is all about being open-minded. I’m emphasizing on this because when most people read or hear “pressed flowers” they get stuck on working with flowers only. The techniques highlighted above can be used on other vegetation beside flowers; for instance, leaves, stems, grass, and experiment on the other stuff you’re curious about and see how things turn out.
The ideal flowers for pressing should be fresh and dry, particularly on the outside. The idea here is to prevent mold and unpleasant odor from the final results. A perfect time to ensure you get the best flowers is early in the evening prior to the formation of dew or in the morning after the flowers are dry from the dew. Avoid picking your flowers during rainy seasons, or after it has rained. Nonetheless, if you have to pick them after it has rained, it’s okay to give them a day or two to dry to out. Finally, subsequent to gathering your perfect flowers, keep them away from direct sunlight to maintain their freshness.
The foregoing tips essentially apply to those who will be preparing the pressed flowers by themselves. However, this also applies to you if you would like to pick specific flowers and alternative vegetation and take it to someone or an established company where they will be pressed for you. The fact that you can buy ready pressed flowers doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get whatever kind of flowers you want. So for cases where you’ll have to pick your own flowers and leave the task of pressing to others, you now have a guide on what to consider.
Tips While Working with Pressed Flowers
Okay, now you have your pressed flowers and the only thing that’s remaining is for you to get creative and express yourself. Below are a few tips on what to consider while working with pressed flowers.
- Handle with care
Pressed flowers are very delicate and the last thing you want is to work with flowers that look like they were picked from the mouth of a goat. If you feel you can’t be gentle enough while handling the pressed flowers, no one will blame you for using tweezers. Just remember the fragile nature of pressed flowers so that you ensure whatever artwork you are working on comes out exactly as intended.
- Preservation and Longevity
The pressing process will maintain the aesthetic value and colors of the flowers for a considerable amount of time. Be that as it may, this won’t be true under normal conditions. Therefore, some steps are necessary to ensure that your designs and artwork last for as long as possible. For starters, dust, moisture, and sunlight will cause the colors of the pressed flowers to fade, and will adversely affect their aesthetic value. This will, in turn, affect your artwork. To prevent this unfortunate event, keep your masterpieces away from these agents.
One of the ways you can do this is to seal your work in an airtight container. The container can be a well-designed frame or whatever you come up with. Moreover, there are preservation sprays available that will aid in maintaining the desired state of the flowers for as long as possible. If you would like a simple DIY preservation medium, consider watered down PVA glue. Mod Podge varnish is also an off the shelf preservation medium you can invest in. You can find more details and how to press flowers in this guide by Roses Only.
Some Artistic Ideas for Inspiration
There’s nothing in particular that you are supposed to create using pressed flowers. It’s all up to you and your imagination. Who knows, you may create something that no one thought could be done using pressed flowers. Just get them and see where the wind will take you. Below are a few things to get you started, or to add to your collection.
- A smartphone cover, tablet cover
- Laptop lid decoration
- Computer monitor decoration
- Wallet or handbag decoration
- Wall Clock
- Just framed pressed flower artwork
- Dish decoration
- Pressed flower rings
- Nail Art
- Wall Paper Art
- Gift Cards
- Use the pressed flowers and leaves as a canvas (make some design on them)
- Glass Decoration
- Key card decoration
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much that can be done with pressed flowers. Explore and be inspired.