I wanted to start the first blog with who many of us refer to as the Queen of Flower Pressing.
The World Wide Pressed Flower Guild which she is a member of , made an award for the conferences competition , named in her honor. 'Cellestine Hannemann Best of the Show Award'
This was part a letter from Jacki Harrington the vice president of WWPFG to Cellestine about this .
Starting at the 2010 WWPFG conference in Guangzhou, China, the competition’s Best in Show award is now called the Cellestine Hannemann Best in Show Award. We want you to know how much we honor all that you have done to advance this art form. Shelley Xie from Michigan was the recipient of your award this year. Her picture was stunning and certainly representative of the high quality that you espouse. At every conference that the WWPFG holds, we will present your award to the Best in Show at the pressed flower competition.
If you have been a member of the many pressed flower groups or guilds for long You have probably heard of Cellestine Hannemann's book & or her presses !
There were 151 references of her presses and book in 1 group I belong to that she was not even a member of .
She is known everywhere in the presser's world .
She had sold all her presses and books by the time I got the bug for pressing and the art .
I was fortunate to have Rebekah Smith as my mentor for pressing and along with the secrets she has shared with me . She also shared some of her precious presses she had purchased from Cellestine earlier. She also let me borrow her copy of what Rebekah called 'the Bible of Pressers. '
“Glorious Pressed Flower Projects”
I started looking it over that evening and when I found out there were no more new for sale , I started searching the internet on where to find a used copy?
Her book was the first book I bought about pressing and have bought several more to share since .
At the 2008 CA WWPFG Conference the guild presented her with an album of pictures many of us contributed to , I wish I could have been there to meet her . But I do have a couple of pictures that were shared of her at the event showing some of her techniques !
here is a picture I did for the album for her
I was honored to receive a letter from her for this interview.
Here is her letter . I typed it exact.
Dear Terica :
Thank You for your flattering words and for including me in your pressed flower blog project. That my book has been of help to pressers was my aim and I am so happy that aim has been met. My regret is that my discovery that Callas and Gardenias (treated with caulk) do not discolor when dried in the refrigerator came after the book was published and so is not in the book.
I am from California and have been a member of WWPFG for six years. I did not have a computer at the time but was so anxious to be a part of the Guild that I ran right out and bought a computer.
I was bitten by the pressing bug in 1971 when a co-worker presented me with a few of her pressed flower note cards .I soon found myself with book in hand pressing everything in sight. At first it was more of a botanical pursuit as I found myself more and more appreciative of the wonders of nature, closely observing the delicate veining in leaves, the way the petals joined together in the calyx, etc.
Shoe boxes full of pressed flowers accumulated when I began to notice disparities in the results I was getting: one time pressing well, another losing color with petals shrunken and shriveled into grotesque shapes. Along about this time my daughter and two of my friends' daughters married. I pressed their flowers in telephone books and mounted them in frames. That was the beginning of my pursuit toward pressing wedding bouquets. The next ten years were spent experimenting with various techniques with an eye towards developing foolproof methods for pressing the flowers so results would be predictable.
In 1984 I began writing my book.I was anxious to share what I had learned with others. Knowing nothing about the world of publishing it was an uphill battle but finally in 1989 Sterling Publishers expressed an interest in the book and they published 15,000 copies in 1990.
During all those years I was a loner. I knew no-one so ga-ga over pressing as I was.I worked in what you might call a vacuum. Then I learned of Theresa Phillip's newsletter and so thrilled to have contact with not only American, but English pressers. After my book was published Nobuo Sugino contacted me and there we were , connected with Japanese pressers as well. I was in Theresa's newsletter that I learned of WWPFG and rushed right out to buy a computer .
I never glued flowers to a paper background for pictures.I did not have the patience to glue every little thing in place. I mounted the flowers on a soft padded fabric. The glass ,pressing down on the flowers, not only held the loose flowers in place, but squished air out of the picture.
Nor did I use glue for cards covered with plastic. After the flowers were all in place I laid the laminating film on the flowers, first swiping an anti-static across the laminating film to counteract the tendency of static electricity to cause the flowers to jump out of place as the plastic approached the flowers. Static was a problem back then when our humidity was often zero.
I speak of the past tense because I am no longer able to manipulate the flowers or glue cards to folders with any accuracy ,due to a combination of arthritis and neurapathy. But I have my memories and treasure that one time I was able to attend a conference in Annaheim and meet my fellow pressers who were up to then names without faces.The album they presented me is on my coffee table and I regularly leaf through it, admiring the beautiful works of art .
Lottsa love , Cellestine
I was so thrilled to get this letter and now it will go in my copy of her book !
Here are some comments from members of WWPFG that wanted to tell a little about Cellestine too.
I got her book and my first padded press at a class that was presented by Janie Gross at . That is when I started pressing like a maniac. I love her press. She did newsletters for several years and when I found out about them, I ordered copies of all the back issues. They were so educational. Cellestine certainly deserves to be called the Queen of pressed flowers. Nancy
In 1992, I pulled “Glorious Pressed Flower Projects” off the shelf in Borders Bookstore and was immediately taken by it. After 17 years of reading, rereading and daydreaming about the possibilities of my own floral preservation business, I found the author, Cellestine Hannemann online and we became quick friends. Her encouragement provided the boldness I needed to start my own business of preserving wedding bouquets. As I quickly approach the 6th anniversary of starting my business, Pressed Garden , my heart overflows with thankfulness as I think of my mentor and friend. Thank you, Cellestine, for blazing the trail, for writing that book in the wee hours of the night, in spite of being told that nobody would buy a book about THAT! Well, I did, and my life was changed by it! And I will always be thankful for your persistence, your spunk, your encouragement and your love. Love always, Annie Fentz, Pressed Garden .
Here is a picture Annie made for the book for Cellestine.
I hope You enjoyed this Interview , Please continue to come back and visit soon .
next will be interviews from some of the first members of the Guild "Heirlooms of WWPFG".
Wishing You Peace and Happy Pressing.
Please leaves comments , I will copy and print this later to send to Cellestine.