Art & Literature Style & Life
The Art of Pressing Flowers
Article By Sahara .
Nov 23, 2018
…One of our first jobs was for Mulberry. They wanted to work with someone on their show invite featuring pressed flowers. They were sending out Observer Gardening books as their show invitations, and they wanted pressed flowers inside of the books and on the front of their invites. It was bit of trial and error, but we learnt so much about it.
On the technique of pressing flowers…
Melissa: The trick is to use fresh flowers and press them really fast, with a lot of blotting paper to take the moisture out as quickly as possible. However, they can’t be completely dried out as they will just disintegrate as you put pressure on them. It’s an art!
Amy: We did a job for Penhaligons, pressing daffodils for Spring. I thought it was all going well until we opened the presses and found the daffodils had gone mouldy, just from the moisture in the head. Everything was ruined…
The length of pressing flowers depends, if they’re super delicate they might only take a couple of weeks to dry out, but normally I’d give it four weeks. You can check on them every week or so, but you don’t want to be checking them every day.
Flower pressing isn’t just for Summer…
Amy: Flowers like Hellebores (known as the Christmas rose) are amazing to press, they have these lovely curves and shapes. In November, you start to see spring flowers in the markets like grape hyacinths, Narcissi and Fritillarias that press very nicely too.
Melissa: You can also go into the woods and pick ferns; autumn leaves are lovely, grasses press very well. There’s plenty of things you can press through the winter months.
On nostalgia Vs the digital age…
Amy: A lot of people have said that our pressed flower wallpaper sparks a real nostalgia, it’s something that a lot of people can relate to, maybe they used to press flowers with their grandmother or they pressed flowers in books.
Melissa: With the digital age, we see that our customers have become much more interested in things that you do with your hands, and to draw away from the screen and touch in with nature and crafts.
On encouraging others to flower press…
Amy: We run workshops, teaching people how to press flowers. People like coming in, switching off and doing something that’s beautiful. We give them all a flower press which they can take home, so they can use it again and again. You will never get two pressed flowers the same, it’s so fascinating and satisfying.
Melissa: There are so many things you can do with pressed flowers. You can make note cards, you can decorate with them – we’ve even made jewellery for a client who wanted tiny little lockets made with pressed flowers. It’s a slow process, it’s meditative, it makes you really look at flowers, they have the most incredible structures.