Pressing matter

Initially, I decided to capture flowers and leaves in their natural form by using natural methods via photography, illustration, cyanotypes and this method; which was me pressing the leaves into wet clay to capture the intricate patterns and shapes.
As you can imagine it’s quite difficult to take images of the clay as they’re delicate and quite soft patterns and all development images have been lost after posting my phone to Australia via the loo. But heres a few images to show the results!

This was a good experiment to play with what would happen, but for me the outcome as delicate and pretty in real life as they are, are not strong enough visually.

Rachel Dein, is a prime example of how pressing flowers can be done in a very beautiful successful way, with time and the right equipment. “Rachel Dein makes plaster casts of plants and flowers that record all their texture, pattern, and delicacy in exquisite details. Her composition can be as simple as a single stem or as complex as a field of wildflowers, leaves, and grasses. Pendulous bleeding hearts, curly fiddleheads of ferns, and wispy poppies are some of her favourite flowers to cast.”

Dein creates a framed clay square and arranges her plants and flowers on top, she presses them in to the clay leaving an imprint and then removes the flowers and plants. Leaving the clay to dry, she then fills the frame with plaster to capture the imprints. Once the plaster has dried, she removes the clay and the end results are beautiful! More examples of her work can be found online.

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