Hello everyone I am proud to introduce Elaine ,she is a very talented award winning artist.
She is also an heirloom of WWPFG . She has been a great support to the guild . She too has wore many hats to make the guild what it is today. She has taught many classes there, was Treasurer while helping make the guild a Non-profit , and now is Hosting the 2011 WWPFG Conference this year . for more info check here.
Thanks Elaine for doing the interview .
Where are you from?Manchester, Ct
How Long have You been doing Pressed Flower Art and/or using Pressed Plant material in your art and crafts as a medium ?I began pressing by accident…literally! A pool supply company in my town had a massive chemical explosion in the summer of 2001. This caused a cloud of chlorine ash to travel many miles and a lot of plants and trees were affected.
In my own yard for example, the front half of my peony bush died overnight. My herb garden was ruined. The insurance adjuster claimed that if I cut down the herbs, the ash would neutralize to lime over the winter and the herbs would be fine the following year. I cut them down and within a month they were growing beautifully though inedible. I pondered what to do with them as I hate to waste anything. I thought, maybe I could press them and make greeting cards. Then I looked around my yard at all my flowers and thought I would try pressing them too.
My daughter-in-law introduced me to the Guild website and I joined immediately! It was the most life-changing event of my life.
Do you remember the first thing you pressed ?Herbs
What’s your favorite mediums /materials?I prefer the look of pressed flowers on mat board but since I now vacuum seal my work, I use heavy weight drawing paper or fabric as a base. I usually use chalk pastel if I need a non-flower background.
I love working with my special blue hydrangeas! I also love working with leaves and bark.
What is your favorite glues ?I usually use plain old Elmer’s glue…very sparingly. I also use Botanical glue and I use a lot of double-sided tape for glue-sensitive flowers.
Do You use sealers on your pressed flowers.No
What is your favorite Flower to Press and How do you do it?Blue hydrangea. I use desiccant paper exclusively when pressing. I have home-made presses consisting of plywood, desiccant, air conditioning foam, Viva paper towel. For Hydrangeas, I also use a sheet of blank newsprint on top of the paper towel for perfectly smooth petals.
Please Feel free to tell us about your work, inspiration, and thoughts with us too.Most of my work in the last couple of years has been for competition or as a classroom exercise through the Guild.
Any leaf or petal seems to activate my imagination. I can look at a sooty looking piece of birch bark and think, “Ah…that would make a great piece of statuary!”
Where can we find your work ? web ,blog , shops ,etcIn my dining room, my living room, etc. I used to do a lot of shows and fairs but found that I wasn’t selling enough to cover the time and expense involved. Now I just sell pictures occasionally to clients. I do a few bridal pieces as well.
Please share tips ?Always use only fresh, dry plant material without spots or tears.
Tell stories that You want people to know about working with pressed flowers and plants .
Being a member of WWPFG has been the most rewarding aspect of my life. Though I have done many different types of crafts over the years, I had never done an actual piece of artwork before. After about two years of learning, I took several pieces of my artwork to the beauty salon that I shared with another hairdresser and hung them on the wall. I stood there looking at them and got kind of choked up and thought, “Oh my gosh, I am an artist!”
I am very grateful to the Guild for everything I have learned and all the friends I have made and cherish.
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Come back next week for an interview with an wonderful artist and author Vansantha Mukthavaram
Peace and Happy Pressing