Nature preservation arts.
Techniques such as flower pressing, decoupage, and oshibana are time-honored ways of celebrating the beauty of nature. These methods create stunning works of art that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Flower Pressing: A Time-Honored Technique
Flower pressing is nothing new. In the Victorian era, it was a popular method of preservation. The process involves placing flowers and leaves between layers of absorbent paper or cloth and pressing them with a heavy weight until they are completely dry, creating a delicate, flattened flower or leaf. These can then be displayed as art in their own right or used for a variety of arts and decorations.
To get started, you need a flower press, which can be purchased or made at home using cardboard and blotting paper. Select flowers and leaves in good condition and press them as soon as possible after picking them to ensure they retain their color and shape.
Decoupage: Transforming Ordinary Objects into Works of Art
Decoupage covers an object with layers of decorative paper or fabric to create a textured, layered effect. This technique transforms ordinary objects into works of art and decorates boxes, trays, and furniture.
To get started, you need a base object, such as a wooden box or tray, decorative paper or fabric, and decoupage glue. Cut your paper or fabric to the size and shape of your object and apply a layer of glue to both the object and the back of the paper. Place the paper onto the object and smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles. Repeat this process with additional layers of paper until you achieve the desired effect.
Oshibana: The Japanese Art of Pressed Flowers
Oshibana is a Japanese art form that arranges pressed flowers and leaves into intricate designs. This technique has been practiced in Japan for centuries.
To get started, press your flowers and leaves using the flower pressing technique described above. Once dry, use the preserved plants to create designs, using traditional Japanese techniques such as layering and color blocking.
Decoupage and Oshibana: The Perfect Pair
Decoupage and oshibana can be combined to create stunning works of art. Using decoupage to attach pressed flowers and leaves to a base object, you can create a unique piece that combines the textures and colors of both techniques.
To get started, you need a base object, such as a wooden box or tray, pressed flowers, and decoupage glue. Arrange your flowers and leaves onto your object, using decoupage glue to attach them in place. Once complete, apply a layer of decoupage glue over the entire surface to seal and protect your creation.
Preserving the beauty of nature through these techniques encourages us to appreciate and cherish the natural world around us. By taking the time to collect and press flowers, we become more mindful of the natural world and its intricate details. Using materials readily available in nature, we can design and decorate without relying on synthetic or non-renewable resources.
The art of flower pressing, decoupage, and oshibana allows us to bring a little piece of nature into our homes and our lives. Give it a try and see where your creativity takes you!
Our Wolcott Public Library monthly takeaway craft for April allowed our patrons to create pressed flower bookmarks that bring nature to any reading session. Make sure you don’t miss out on the next craft by following us on social media and signing up for the newsletter! The May craft will be announced soon. Check our event calendar for all upcoming programming.