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.
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!
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...