Sometimes, the most beautiful works of art can be the most simple. Such is often the case with the stunning and creative works that are created from pressed flowers.
With a history that has so easily found life and longevity from a wealth of countries and across centuries, there is no mystery behind why the practice is still enjoyed among artists and crafters, alike, today. While the origins of flower pressing can be traced back to ancient Egypt, China, and Japan, we most often associate the art as a craft reminiscent of a romantic Victorian England.
During the Victorian era, women often found themselves looking to fill the time in meaningful and creative ways. Even since then, the process has not changed much: take a flower (it can also be a leaf, petal, or herb) and some form of paper, then carefully place the flower between the paper, delicately laying out the petals or edges so as to not muddle them up. Next, to press them, requires one place significant weight (such as from a hefty book or two) on the paper to firmly flatten the flower for a week or two until it is fully dried out and preserved. Some even use special pressing devices, often made of wood, where two sides of a mechanism firmly press together. From the practice, Victorian women proved to be patient, delicate, creative, and had an eye for arrangement as a result.
After pressing a flower, some might frame them, display them with other pressed flowers as a floral arrangement, or even use them inside letters or boxes as decor. They could also be used along with decoupaged chairs or tables or jewelry boxes for a stunning home piece.
It is a process that anyone can do, and produces stunning results. Each flower or leaf is unique, which is an easy guarantee that no one else will have the exact same piece. Not to mention, when precisely preserved in a special location or material, pressed flowers can last an eternity. They can easily be seen to symbolize romance, beauty, simplicity, nature - and can hold that meaning forever.
After receiving a floral arrangement from a lover, one might wish to preserve a bud or two to serve as a means of memorializing the gift.
After a long, heartfelt walk through a park, picking daisies off the lawn, a daughter might wish to press some to preserve them for a gift for her mother. Someone looking for a unique and special way to decorate the bare walls of a home, bringing in some colour and variety and some way to bring nature indoors might have a desire to press and frame their own flowers.
There is versatility and beauty in flower pressing, making it an art that continues to find a lasting presence across generations. As an art form as well as a craft, it captures the beauty of nature in such a creative fashion, presenting a unique way to decorate or design a hundred different things. In a world filled with stress, this might just be the simplicity you’re looking for.