In this blog I will present commented discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of various art resins; discuss how to prepare flowers for use with resin and which flowers have worked best/not worked for me. I will be presenting interviews and discussions with other pressed flower and resin artists. I will have a "tip of the day" section.

I'm hoping that lots of you contribute; comments, arguments and disagreements are always welcome. Resin is such a complex medium that we all have something to learn. Besides, tweaks and even new resin products are coming out all the time.

Friday, March 18, 2011

HANDGROWN JEWELRY: A newly discovered flower/resin artist!

Hi everyone. I found someone who makes really lovely jewelry totally different from mine--I don't even know how she does it, but it's beautiful.
Handgrown Jewelry:
 1: How did you get started with resin and flowers?
I got started with resin a few years ago, after seeing how versatile it is! You can make great funky jewelry, repair surfboards, fill molds and layer it on flowers! I started experimenting with dyes and filling little bezel cups and bottle caps. The flowers came into play when I was a kid. I've always been surrounded by my moms gorgeous gardens and flower displays, which turned me into a huge flower fanatic.

2: what are your favorite flowers and materials to work with.
I love skeleton leaves. They have a totally delicate And intricate natural design which i find mesmerizing. Orchids are also total show stoppers, I am in complete awe of them. I love the entire growing process. Watching a stalk pop out from the roots, seeing it sprout little buds then waiting with extreme anticipation for the buds to bloom. It's especially exciting when you don't know what color or type of orchid is going to be revealed. Flowers are by far my favorite material to work with. Every single one is different, which make each piece of jewelry that comes from them unique, like a fingerprint.

3: what are some challenges you've encountered working with resin and flowers?
 Tie your hair back when working with resin, this stuff does not shampoo out! Lesson learned:)

 4: what are your plans for the future?
I have my website up now, and I do several craft shows around the Sarasota and Tampa areas. I am also involved in a Sunday morning market which is once a month year round. I love doing shows and talking to people about the jewelry and anything crafty. So I'll continue doing what I'm doing now, adding more shows as they come along. I have some new processes I'm working on involving my lovely little skeleton leaves, and also have some cute new cuffs coming out this month!! There is always new jewelry being handgrown at my house!

 Thank you so much!

Tip of the day: I've started to use one of those tiny metal bottle tips when I have to
pour resin on a small space (as usual, suggested by the Colores video; but who ever follows ALL of the directions!) and am having much less problem with resin running over the sides of my pieces, IF I don't get too greedy with time and try to avoid 2 or three
pours on the piece. I did find that I have to do the small pieces first and then remove the metal tip; as the resin cools it gets thicker and won't flow through the tip. I just toss it in a little cup of rubbing alcohol and it's good for the next time.

Thanks for coming by. I love to hear comments and ideas!  Chris

Saturday, March 5, 2011

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! Interview with Terica

Terica, of the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild, has been doing wonderful interviews with the guild's "Heirlooms,:" those who really formed the guild and in some cases,  ushered in the last 50 years of the various arts of flower pressing. Her own site is:

How /why /when did you start pressing flowers

Since I was young I have always loved flowers . My Grandmother always had
 something growing in the house all winter and outside the rest of the year.
My Mother was a crafter. Always coming up with something out of nothing , she was truly
the first UP-cycler I knew  .
I can't imagine not seeing flowers growing and 4 leaf clovers ! The clovers are truly the first thing I remember pressing.
I remember finding one and being told it would bring me good luck and to put it in a book so
I could keep it ! I lost it ? that was not good luck? But I kept finding more and that was luck enough to me .
Well after finding many and hearing other people say they had never found one ?
I decided it would be nice to put them in other peoples books ,then that would bring them luck!!
I continued this though my twenties , sometimes spending an hour searching before going to the library .
I have always tried to grow something where ever I have lived. I like the feel of dirt and the smell.
I would rather walk through the woods than any Mall.
I love making birdhouses and yard art to decorate my garden.
Then I met Rebekah Smith , she was decorating Rocks with pressed flowers !
She started doing this with the extra resin left over from doing other projects .
Then she would hide them in gardens for people to find .
I was hooked ! I wanted to do this ? I imagined my yard covered in these rocks with flowers !!
here are some of mine;

I was filling homemade presses made of everything .Since then it has went from craft to addiction.

What is your favorite thing to make with the flowers?
This is a hard one for me , it matters on the flower ?
Some fade quicker so they tend to become bookmarks or cards.
Violas , daffodils , mini roses ,dogwood and wildflowers have to be my favorite . I like things easy to press .
As I progress with classes , I find I truly love to use leaves to paint landscapes .

Do you grow all or most of your own flowers?
Here in mid North Carolina we are blessed with lots of blooming things . Dogwood is everywhere!
We grow most of what I press , but I am also blessed with gracious neighbors ,that love to see me deadhead
their flowers for a few good ones too! We have 1 acre attached to a pipeline field that is mowed once a year
with literally thousands of wildflowers too! That doesn't stop me from planting more!
I hope to sell flowers soon , I have been pressing too many for me alone.
My son gave me my name for my etsy site & web " Flower Impressions " because I was always saying
" Come see what Flower I'm pressin' "

How long have you been with WWPFG?
 I joined World Wide Pressed Flower Guild  in 2006, which I credit my true talent to the guild .
 I have learned so much in the discussion group there . Plus the encouragement You get from fellow artist
whether they are masters or beginners are outstanding!
The online month long classes there , are taught by Master teachers from all over the world.
I have learned to make lovely landscapes with things like banana peels and Fall leaves.
I have been an Ex Com member for nearly 3 years now and helped with becoming a non profit org.

What is your biggest challenge in flower art ?
Keeping Whites white is a big challenge and Hydrangeas to stay the color they start out !
I gave myself a Big challenge this year and entered the Philadelphia Flower Show competition in 2 themes !It was a big challenge for me . Learning the rules and realizing I use a lot of flowers I could not identify ?
 I realized after signing up that if my work passes the guidelines and
actually gets hung on the wall there for competition , I have won!
I am expecting a ribbon just wanted to know I could pass the test !
I would recommend everyone to compete in an event just to challenge Yourself !

What advise do you have for newbies in flower pressing art ?

1.Never think there is a Perfect Press , experiment .I press a LOT. I have several sizes and styles.Mostly homemade made from Up-cycling !
For ideas feel free to go to my blog where I tell how to make several presses from mini to 12 x12 .Just type ,'How to make presses' in the search box.Ask any questions You like on any post I will try to answer asap;

2.Don't be hasty to throw away a flower because it is not perfect ,
 the tans and browns they turn can become a skin-tone or landscape piece.
"Ask the flower what it wants to be ?"

3. Go to my blog and read interviews from Pressers around the world giving tips weekly.  ( look for the March 3rd blog with Chris's interview too)

4 . Have fun with it and teach a child how to press too !
Of course I would definitely recommend joining:
Peace and Happy Pressing, Terica /

 Thank you, Terica! 

Here's the tip of the day: 

Don't discard your messed up pressed flower resin piece if the front has a hair or piece of dust or bubble; often you can sand down to the error and repour the resin. It will come out just fine!