This Blog will be a place dedicated to interview the Wonderful Flower Pressers and Artists
around the world that use 'Pressed Flowers" as part of their medium .
Let the world see What kind of " Art" can be made from it!
Please let me know if You would
to do an interview too or know someone ?
Come back often and Peace and Keep on Pressing...

This is the poem that reminded me to do this.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." Marcel Proust

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Theresa Phillips , WWPFG Heirloom

Wow, I feel intimidated a little doing this interview , lol . Theresa is a Legend when it comes to writing about Pressed Flower Artist . 
She has been doing a newsletter about this art for 23 years.
Theresa's Newsletter is sent Snail Mail all around the world. 
I will share some of the wonderful issue I received from her with you too! This is the second interview I have done via Snail Mail .
In this day and time when everything is on the web , it is very special to actually see "handwriting" ! 
To see a Home printed article that is filled to the rim to save space and a collage of information!  
 I am proud to say I had the honor to meet Theresa in 2006 at the WWPFG Illinois Conference. I bought 2 wonderful prints from her also. 
Here is a link to her bio from the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild website  
this  is one of her Philly entries , click to enlarge 

Theresa Phillips

Where are you from?

How Long have You been with World Wide Pressed Flower Guild ?
6 years

How Long have You been doing Pressed Flower Art ?
Almost 40 years, I started pressing when my husband (died in 1981). Saw work at the
Philadelphia International Flower Show & said that "I could do that!"
His boss helped me enter my 1st show & I'm still There exhibiting .
How time has changed though for pressed flowers ! You used to have to grow your own material or 'borrow' it somewhere---Now PF are for sale everywhere. I still grow my own!  

Do you remember the first thing you pressed ?
a Pansy

What’s your favorite mediums /materials?
LOVE,  Hydrangeas ; Astilbe , 
also known as False Spirea ;Larkspur; Roses ; Allyssum

What is your favorite Flower to Press and How do you do it?
Tulip - use Japanese press with Desiccant pads ,cut in half and remove center.

 What is your favorite Glue ? How do You tend to use it ?

Elmer's school glue or Japanese Resin for Hydrangeas 

Please Feel free to tell us about your work, inspiration, and thoughts with us too.
I use Family in 90 % of my work ,makes it more fun!

I also love birds and ; monkeys ! and  Cats !

Where  can we find your work ? web ,blog , shops ,etc   
My newsletter "Fertile Acre Press" 

Email : fertileacrepress(at)yahoo(Dot)com 

Or at the Philadelphia International Flower Show!

Please share tips ? 
Try lots of Things ! Also change your art if You are not happy-cover with new material. 

click this picture and you can see how to dissect a picture

Tell stories that You want people to know about the guild and pressed art.
The guild has wonderful Conferences , Try to attend when You can. 
You will learn something new. 

In Theresa's newsletter she gives lots of tips , she gives drawing with descriptions of how to make critters and people and lots more.

Sorry about this page I accidentally copied it in Illustration on printer ? the work is actually much prettier.

I am going to find out out to sign up for her newsletter. Let me know if you want the information too ?! 

Our Next Interview will be with Kate Chu the first president of WWPFG.
As always Peace and Happy  Pressing !  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Joanna Sheen , WWPFG Heirloom

 Hello everyone I am having so much fun doing these interviews and learning So many tips ! 
I have books by Joanna and I am proud she has sent such gorgeous pictures and fabulous information to share with you.   

 Joanna Sheen

Where are you from?
I live in the South West of England in a county called Devon – but I grew up in the middle of England and just love this countryside.

How Long have You been with World Wide Pressed Flower Guild ?

I joined in the minute we all talked about it – what a fabulous brainwave and what an important moment in time for pressed flowers!

How Long have You been doing Pressed Flower Art ?
I trained as a florist in 1979 and when my first child was born at the end of that year (yes standing and learning floristry was not fun when pregnant!) and I realized that new babies and fresh flowers didn’t work well together so experimented with pressing flowers. I adored it instantly and felt a whole new world opened up for me.

Do you remember the first thing you pressed ?
The first thing I pressed was a selection of leaves and then spring flowers – snowdrop pictures on a black background with tiny ivy leaves – I loved that picture!

What's your favorite mediums /materials?
Silk – for sure, definitely – I love subtle and gentle varieties and colors.  I used them as backgrounds and to point me in the direction of the colour blends I want to achieve. I particularly like soft dusty pinks and mauves and a nice mahogany/gilt oval frame and I am happy!

What is your favourite Flower to Press and How do you do it?
Favourite flower to press without a doubt is the Christmas Rose or Hellebore – they are around when the pressure is off as not much is out in February or so and I appreciate them so much more. I use the microwave method a fair bit and just make my own presses (for instructions see www.joannasheen.com  

– then click on the tuition page for how to press flowers). I remove the centres and press them separately as I sometimes use them and sometimes substitute some Queen Anne’s lace.

Please Feel free to tell us about your work, inspiration, and thoughts with us

My inspiration has always been real flower arranging – I adore all and everything connected with flowers and when I am creating a picture or a card I am aware of what a fresh flower spray would look like and use that as a starting point. I rarely mix too many different colours or types of flower – same as it might be if you were buying a bouquet from a really good florist – they work wonders with shapes and textures and a coordinating mix of colours. The very best thing surely about our work with pressed flowers is that you spend ages creating the design but YAY it is still lovely after years and I have some very early pictures I did (as does my Mum bless her) and they are still there to be admired – what fresh flower collection would be!


Where can we find your work ? web ,blog , shops ,etc
The only way you can catch up with my work these days is to find an out of print copy of one of my books on a site a bit like amazon.com – I wrote two and they both have some great illustrations. The photographers I worked with were awesome. Currently I am so involved with papercraft and my programmes on Create and Craft TV here in the UK that pressed flowers is a guilty pleasure that I only do for myself very occasionally. But all things change and hopefully I will persuade the UK crafting scene that it would like to give pressing flowers a go again soon!

Please share tips ?

I echo what others have said and say take the online classes – nothing beats talking to experienced pressers – oh yes it does ...... doing it yourself and making a mess of it and learning.
 When I started there was very very little out there apart from sticking flowers into family bibles and the like and the reason I loved the art so much was I experimented. I almost lost some friends on the way – they only invited me after dark so I couldn’t ask to decapitate their best bloom in the garden to try.
Read and then try every option you see mentioned – don’t take anything as gospel and see what works for you – there are lots of roads to the same end point!.

Thanks again for coming by and Please take time to show some love and click a button and leave comments. Come back soon to see my interview with Theresa Phillips and a glimpse of her 77th issue of  "The Fertile Acre Press" newsletter .  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Barbara Hallman , WWPFG Heirloom

Well my friends I have another lovely interview to share with You . Barbara has been a dear friend and mentor for me on the Ex Com at World Wide Pressed Flower Guild 
She has wore many hats at the guild and I would personally say, She is the spine of the body of the guild. She gives us great support and keeps us straight. Barbara I want to publicly say Thank You for all You continue to do for the WWPFG.


Barbara Hallman

Where are you from?
I am a fourth generation Washingtonian (DC), although I currently live in the very urban DC suburbs of Alexandria, VA now.

How Long have You been with World Wide Pressed Flower Guild ?
Since its inception in 2001.

Do you remember the first thing you pressed?
Probably bougainvilla as I was visiting my dad in Florida and trying to come up with a gift for him for his friends' anniversary.  I had seen pressed flower art at a garden show and was very impressed. It occurred to me that maybe "I could do that." My mom, the creative and artistic one, has just passed away a few months before and he was at a loss as to what to give their friends. So I just jumped in and created my first piece; a bougainvilla festooned anniversary poem. It was probably pretty rudimentary, but it was well received, and that certainly got me going!

What's your favorite mediums /materials?
I love creating contemporary works that show that pressed flower art is more than just a "little old ladies Victorian craft", and rather a legitimate modern art form. So collagy type creations are some of my favorites to do. I'd love to start adding other types of art mediums to my work to create modernistic effects with pressed flowers. I don't really have any favorite mediums and materials; I experiment with all sorts of things. But I do love sanwa paper for its gauzy effect with flowers! 

What is your favorite Flower to Press and How do you do it?
Of course, the pansy is the old tried and true reliable flower to press, but I love to press everything; especially new and exciting things I have never pressed before. This year I pressed whole marigold flowers in a manner that holds them intact so that they come out of the microwave press ready to use, without reconstruction. That turned out to be a great idea, as all pictures I made with the marigolds were best sellers. I even have orders pending for next summer's crop of marigolds! (I don't even really like marigolds). I also love how my blue climbing clematis come out pressed. High drama and such a lovely silky midnight blue. And another favorite is very dark, almost black hellebores , some of the first to bloom in the early spring.

Please Feel free to tell us about your work, inspiration, and thoughts with us too.

Although I am not "in business," my fun business name for my pressed flower art is "NatureGifts."  I make and sell pressed flower art items, including artwork, customized works, cards, bookmarks, jewelry and other pressed flower items--anything that can carry a flower!  It's a lovely avocation which allows me to capture and revere nature and express myself through artworks.  I donate most proceeds to my church bazaar sales as a charitable donation to my church.  I also do commissions for friends upon request or on referral or by word of mouth. I  love creating lovely works for special people on special occasions and generally have some new project underway at all times.  I do it for love, not money.

Pressed flower artworks are a wonderful way to capture the fleeting beauty of a freshly blooming flower and hold it in your hand for longer than Mother Nature had it mind! There is always something new and exciting to discover right around the corner.  I just love our art and craft because it is so multi-faceted which keeps it challenging and fascinating. Here are some of the dimensions:

Nature: gets us out into the beautiful world and lets us really examine nature from all angles, including the underside of botanicals. Even a little lowly crown vetch is full of little hummingbirds just waiting to be discovered...who knew what beauty lurks there!
Science: exploring new and more effective ways to press botanicals and processes to retain or enhance color and guard against the deterioration of a natural product.
Computer science and photography: using new technologies to capture and enhance our art as well as communicating our ideas and lessons via internet from all over the globe.
Art: learning new ways to create dimensionality with pressed botanicals for realistic effect and learning new art forms and techniques with pressed botanicals.
Business: enhancing sales impacts and promoting pressed flower art as a beautiful, legitimate (and lucrative) art form.

Where  can we find your work ? web ,blog , shops ,etc 

My goal in the coming months is to update this site, but for now there are lots of my pictures here.

Please share tips ?

Oh, so many!
1. You can never have enough greens--pick and press plenty!
2. You can never press enough--keep picking and pressing 'til you drop so that you can share and exchange with friends.
3. Find a loving roommate or friend who will understand your crazy passion and will support you in this endeavor.  Support includes stopping the car on roadsides for picking as well as standing lookout for you as you "snitch" something you probably should not. A whistle warning works wonders!
5. If you ask for permission to pick, expect strange looks and a lot of explaining!
6. If you get caught, use this explanation: I just wanted a "sample" of this plant so that I could find it at a nursery for my own garden." (Works well unless you have picked an entire bag of goods).
7. Find a good inventory system that works for you and adhere to it strictly so that you can find lost treasures and gems right when you need them.
8. If you don't feel like the drudgery of re-filing unused flowers pulled out of your system for a project, keep them in a separate location for use in small projects like bookmarks and cards.
9. Package up flowers for flower swaps as you press flowers. No mad dashes to package at the last moment. Also keep on hand some packets for sharing as needed. 
10. Use as little glue as possible, or none at all. Glue is not your friend!
11. Dryer sheets are wonderful for taming fly away flowers.
12. Listen to the flowers! Let them tell you what to do. And then, let your compositions "rest" for a day or so to look at them and fine tune them. Take a photograph of the composition and look at it in a new light on camera. Look at the picture from all angles of the photograph to see what might be improved.
13. Study other artists' works and learn from them; always be willing to try new things.
14. Pick loose bits of statically adhered flowers off your furry pets on a daily basis!

Tell stories that You want people to know about the guild and pressed art.

Pressed flower art is so much fun and is so creative. As noted  above, because there are so many dimensions to this art, it is always fascinating to me, even after my 11 years of it! For the great artists, it's a wonderful and awesome medium of artistry. For those of us with fewer artistic talents, it is still unlimited in its capacity to give us room to create and grow to our own satisfaction and enjoyment. For this ever-lasting fascination and my ever-continuing growth as an artist, I thank the Guild for all I know and have learned  and for all the friendships of like-minded artists all over the world.

Wow , what an Interview and what lovely pictures . Please take time to click the buttons below and show your love with a message . 

Visit again soon we have lots more lined up , Joanna Sheen is coming up next 
Peace and Happy Pressing!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Suzanne Faith , WWPFG Heirloom

Wow , I knew when I started this that we would get the chance to see what inspires people to take flowers fresh , at their prime and smash them in a book or press .Only to wait weeks or months to then create simple cards, bookmarks  or fabulous Masterpieces.
Myself I thought it maybe a fun hobby to add to my gardening.
Now it is close to obsession (smiling) It has been some of the best anti-depressant found in my opinion. 
The Guild has been a second family to me since I started and I wanted to know even more about who I was talking to and sharing with.
 With these interviews I am also reaping much more than some fabulous tips . I am learning about the people behind the art. 
I was in awe when I read this next interview . Suzanne is really sharing her art in a positive way.  

Suzanne Faith

Where are you from?
Cape Cod Massachusetts

How Long have You been with World Wide Pressed Flower Guild ?
since 2002

How Long have You been doing Pressed Flower Art ?
since 1985

Do you remember the first thing you pressed ?
wildflowers from the roadside & wild grape vine tendrils.  I loved the delicate way they curled.

What's your favorite mediums /materials?  

My art is a blend of fine line pen & ink design with pressed flowers added.

What is your favorite Flower to Press and How do you do it? 

My favorite flowers to press are Delphinium and Larkspur.  They are almost foolproof and never seem to fade whether your working with the Japanese vacuum sealing method or the framing standards from the
Pressed Flower Guild of Great Britain.  My favorite way of pressing is using the desiccant pads from Japan.  They are failure free!

Please Feel free to tell us about your work, inspiration, and thoughts with us too.
I became interested in designing with pressed flowers as a way to combine my two favorite creative mediums; gardening and drawing. 

I joined the Pressed flower Guild of Great Britain in 1989 and learned much from their members.  Soon after I was introduced to Nobuo Sugino from Japan who spent the day with me in on Cape Cod sharing our different techniques of drying and assembly. I was invited by the International Pressed Flower Society to teach my techniques in Japan
and Taiwan to their students. and had my design work published  in the first edition of International Pressed Flower Art Book printed in Japan.  It was about this time that Kate was starting the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild which I quickly joined.

By profession I am a psychiatric nurse and Alzheimer's Specialist.  I am now developing programs which use art as a medium to help those with Alzheimer's reconnect to their memories.

Where  can we find your work ? web ,blog , shops ,etc

Arts and Alzheimers

Please share tips ?
Tell stories that You want people to know about the guild and pressed art.
In my research I have learned that the flower is a very powerful tool for healing.  Whether one gardens, designs with real or artificial flowers, uses aromatherapy, creates with pressed flowers, paints, or views artwork containing flowers the eye sees the visual symbol of the flower which causes positive healing energy to be released in the brain.  My goal is to use my research with flowers to develop programs that use floral design as a way to create a sense of wellness within

each person and connect them to the beauty of the natural world they live in.

Suzanne Faith

I hope You enjoyed reading this interview as much as I did ?
It was very inspiring to me . Please come back  for our next 
Heirloom Barbara Hallman! 
As always Peace and Happy creating.
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