Hey Friends & Fellow Alchemists!
It's been a while since I've posted to the blog. But, I'm back! I speak a lot about wedding and event work here and so I wanted to walk you through, at least quickly, through my flower pressing process. There are so many ways to go about preserving flowers but I follow two methods.
1. Traditional pressure pressing 2. whole drying using silica.
Below are some photos of my process as I prep and press some gorgeous ranunculus. I hope this is interesting for you and let me know if you have any questions. Like I said, this is not super in-depth but the process is fairly straight forward. The most complex elements are far more to do with the type of flower I am pressing than the steps. :)
Okay, so here we go. First I remove the stems and excess greenery from the bloom. For ranunculus this is very important because they hold so much moisture in their stem and head. I use several different tools but in this case I am using traditional florist shears.
I am sure to remove the stem as closely as possible to the head of the bloom to ensure it will lay flat on the paper and will have less water content. Then I remove excess petals. Especially with raununculus and other blooms that are saturated, I remove some petals to make sure it will dry quickly and flat. The more layers of petals, the more likely the bloom with dry too slowly in the press and mold in the process.
I repeat this process for each bloom and also remove their center and stamen to prevent staining, shedding, and of course, moisture. I lay a few on each page of watercolor paper, face-up.
I don't completely fill the page because they will lose water and it will be absorbed by the watercolor paper and corrugated cardboard between the layers. As I'm sure you've discovered through my rambling, we're most worried about moisture content here. Each layer has multiple pieces of paper and at least one layer of cardboard between it and the next. I stack them one on top of the next until I've reached the length/height of the press or until I have nothing more to press at that time.
I try to press like floral together (especially on the same page). This is for organization but also because each bloom presses at different rates due to size and moisture content. Keeping them with like flower types makes the process smoother and you are less likely to run into longer dry times and molding.
I include the stems as well on a separate page. They are great to layer together with the stems once they've all dried completely.
The remnant petals, stems, and waste are composted to provide soil for another crop of flowers in the spring!
Thanks for following along. I hope this was a worth-while read! I'm be back with more #bts type posts soon.