An Interesting Request…

Pliable Pressed Heather Flowers, Fiber Art

Pliable Pressed Heather Fiber Art

Last week, a talented artist contacted me requesting a special embellishment for a piece she was working on. She needed pressed Heather woven into a cord.

The Heather for her piece needed to look and feel completely natural but also had to be treated in some manner to strengthen and prevent shattering with normal handling. To accommodate these requirements, lamination or resin was not an option.

So, I summoned up my past experience with freeze-drying and used a special method that I had concocted way back when… The only way you can tell the flowers have been preserved beyond normal methods is to actually bend them.

This project was fun, I love when old knowledge becomes useful later in life. Feel free to contact me if you’d like flowers treated this way or have a special project you’d like done.

Dyeing to Obtain Exotic Colors

Coral-and-Aquamarine Pressed Flowers

Dyed Coral and Aquamarine Pressed Bougainvillea and Queen Anne’s Lace Flowers

I have a lady who sometimes likes colors that are not naturally found in nature. This is a time-consuming process, but easy to do with dyes formulated for dyeing flowers that have already been pressed.

First I mix the dyes to obtain the desired color, then apply the dye using a small soft paint brush. This request was for several varieties of pressed flowers in turquoise and coral. I didn’t think I’d like them but I was wrong. We got some interesting results, so I thought I’d share a picture.

Reds and Whites TO Dye Pressed Flowers

Pressed Sweet Autumn Clematis

On the right we have red, the middle is original color, the bottom is enhanced white.

We’ve had some great success with dying pressed flowers to look natural. We’ve also had a little failure, but we learn from failure so we’re good with it. Below are some test samples showing flowers in their natural condition and after treatment. I tried a little green with one of the carnations but I don’t like it. We need to tone it down.
Pressed Celosia Flowers

The Celosia flower on the right is the original color, the one on the left is treated with red.


Pressed Bachelor Buttons

The top left flower is original, the white on the right is treated, the red is treated.


Color Enhanced Carnations

The Carnation on the left has the original petals, on the right we have the color enhanced petals, with half of the calyx colored green.

Experimenting With Color Retention in Pressed Flowers

Working on Poor Color Retention

Using Bad Flowers to Improve Processes

Having a bit of mad-scientist in me I am working with an expert in the floral field to improve color retention in pressed flowers using techniques that are formulated for both pretreatment color retention and post treatment color enhancing.

Pressed Flowers

Flowers That Are Well Pressed With Good Color to be Used for Experimemtation

Today I spent most of the day going through my pressed flowers looking for bad specimens to send off to the lab for testing. This is exciting for me and my friend in the dried flower industry. I’m happy to be involved in this research and will give periodic reports.

These flowers are good, but they all hold their secrets. Let’s see how it goes.