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.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Such Beautiful Jewelry!

There are getting to be quite a few resin/pressed flower jewelry artists, lately, while two years ago we were a rare breed.  I'm always delighted to find a new (to me) artist whose work stands out.  Today I would like to introduce June Moore, from England. She started out with resin and pressed flowers in such a romantic way!   June has a shop on ETSY,

How did you get started with pressing flowers and working with resin?

 I always liked pressing flowers. I also always liked the idea of delicate things suspended in transparent matters, be it water, ice or air. My old journals are full of pressed flowers but I had no knowledge of real flower resin jewellery till October 2011. One day my husband and I took our baby daughter to a national trust park and I was just browsing in the souvenir shop when I found this gorgeous necklace with a tiny rose embedded in a glass-like setting. I was instantly hooked, and the research hence began. Night after night I learned about what resin jewellery is and how to make them. My first attempt was my wedding day rose, which was a surprising success. The obsession started and I simply cannot stop. My husband bought that necklace for me as our wedding anniversary gift. That was the beginning of everything.

What are some challenges you've encountered and how have you met them?

 I have learned through disasters. I have made a piece so full of bubbles you can't see what's inside. I have measured wrongly and didn't used enough hardener so a piece ended up rubbery! I have touched my pieces too early and impatiently and left them permanently damaged with my finger prints. I have even scratched the bottom of a mould and left it unusable.....anything you name it, I have done it wrong. But I have made some pieces that made me smile and think: wow, I can't believe I made this. And it kept me going.

What advice do you have for newbies to this art?

 Beginners, please remember to be patient and follow the instructions strictly. If it says on the bottle mix two parts equally then do so, don't add a couple of more drops of hardener just to be sure. Use a brand new measuring cup every time to avoid wasting your time and your precious resin. Invest in good moulds and save lots of time. Be adventurous and try different styles, eventually you will shape your own. And last but not least, be prepared to make mistakes. We all do and we all learn something from them. You will make something better next time!

What are your plans for the future?
 I am only an amateur jewellery maker and I don't think my stuff can be called art. I look forward to trying new settings for my jewellery. I started off making resin-only pieces, that is without any metal settings or coloured background. I am experimenting with more colours and styles of settings. I love vintage, Victorian style so that will be my new direction. But I can't say I will stick to one style because I get bored easily! If you look at my shop you will notice there isn't consistency in my designs. I jump from one style to another. I don't know whether this is good or bad, only time will tell!

Thank you very much for the interview. I am very honoured. Good luck with your creations!

A tip of the day: (or month, as it may be!) If you have to correct errors with the resin (i.e. bubbles, uneven spots, spills over the edges or on the back, get to them within 24 hours, before the resin has had a chance to fully cure, and they are MUCH easier to correct. For instance, I'm always slightly overfilling settings so some slops over the edges onto the surrounding decorative part, or the back. If I get to it early I can almost always pry it off in one piece with a scalpel. If I wait, the whole thing is usually ruined.  The setting gets scratched with everything I try ;  concentrated acetone  discolors most settings but polish remover isn't strong enough after 24-48 hours to remove drips.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog.  I welcome comments, corrections and suggestions.  Chris

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From Russia, A Wonderful Pressed Flower Jewelry Artist

Hi, today I'd like to introduce Mary Bu, a botanist/landscape architect/pressed flower jewelry artist from the Urals region of Russia; she has a shop on Etsy:

How did you get started in working with pressed flowers and with resin:
Since childhood I attracted to nature, plants, and liked to look at their tiny flowers, so I was educated landscape architect. But in our area is long and very cold winter, and I may work on specialty only 4-5 months a year. And the long winter evenings I can spend on art and search for new hobbies. When I heard about the resin, I thought of those tiny bouquet, which I loved to collect when I was a child and I wanted to try preserve it beauty in a clear resin.
So I tried and very inspired by this and now I have this "strange hobby" where I can use my biological knowledge and skills of collecting herbarium.

What are some of your major challenges in this work:
For me the major challenges is the short summer, for which are not able to gather enough herbarium, and also the problem of storage and the fragility of plants during the work.
Pressing flowers is very fickle, you can't say exactly how long it will remain it colors and also you can't replicate to a tee what is already done. Although the last is probably not a problem, but rather a virtue - the uniqueness of each work.

What advice do you have for newcomers to this art form:
Experiment and look for new material looking the world around you.
Nature's microworld actually very beautiful and enigmatic, but usually, people don't notice it. Just try to show them how it is wonderful!

What are your plans for the future:
I really want this summer to go round our Perm region, to visit again Visherskii and Basegi reserves, which I visited during my studies at the university and collect herbarium of the endemics of the Urals, and sure save them in resin. And in my dreams of course to go round the whole of Russia and then the whole world and explore all the plants, but I think it's only dreams :)

Thank you, Mary. I love your jewelry, and the identifications of all the plants. I am often unsuccessful in tagging the flowers in my jewelry thoroughly.
Mary's shop on Etsy: Ural Nature:

Resin hint of the day:
Allow at least 48 hours after your resin piece is hardened before you allow it to touch another resin piece; It takes 4 to 5 days for most resins to thoroughly cure, before which time they are easily scratched, indented, and bonded to other resin pieces (and shavings--I've learned the hard way, don't sand/shave resin pieces around newly hardened
resin jewelry.)

Thank you for visiting this erstwhile blog!  Chris

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spotted Dog Asheville Pressed Flower Jewelry--OH MY!

I am so excited to introduce a new (to me at least) wonderful pressed flower resin jewelry artist...her work is just amazing! 

How did you get started with pressed flower art

I actually got here in a rather circuitous fashion. I started as a cut flower farmer (and before that I was a corporate attorney - a whole different story.) I had all of these beautiful flowers, and eventually I started pressing some of them. And then I started playing with the pressed flowers, and started making some beeswax lanterns with the pressed flowers on them.

Eventually I had a few lanterns that didn't work quite right, so I cut them up and spent some time staring at the panels of beeswax and flowers. It was one of those times when you know there's something interesting that wants to be made, but it's hard to figure out what. Finally I started playing with making jewelry, and had my eureka! moment.

Now I make two different types of jewelry - the first uses a thin sheet of the beeswax and flowers (which I love because the beeswax provides a stable platform to cut the flowers, so I can frame out small pieces if I want). Then the beeswax and flowers are mounted to a glass tile and the whole piece is sealed in resin. I use this process to make pendants, earrings and rings. The second type of jewelry (mainly bangles, rings and pendants) is pressed flowers encased in resin.

What challenges have you encountered

I've definitely learned a lot through trial and error. Certain varieties of flowers hold their colors really well and others don't. Certain varieties are easy to press, and others - not so much. But for everything that hasn't gone the way I wanted, lots of those times turned into what I call happy accidents - where I didn't necessarily get what I was expecting, but I still ended up with something interesting or educational. It's all a learning process, and fortunately I enjoy the discoveries.


What advice do you have for newcomers to pressed flower jewelry

Don't be afraid to jump in! But also, find a mentor or some good books - that can save a lot of frustration. Overall, though, I think there's a lot to be said for just having fun and experimenting.
What are your plans for the future?

I'm going to keep playing and see where it leads me. I've got some new molds for the resin jewelry that I'm anxious to try. I went on a tear earlier this summer and made molds out of any shape that looked interesting to me. When I get a little time in my schedule I'm going to sit down and play with those new shapes and see what I end up with.

I'm also hoping to expand my online presence with etsy. Since I started as a farmer, I was very used to going to outdoor markets and have continued that trend as I transitioned to art. But as my son gets older and the baseball games get more frequent on Saturday mornings, I'm putting a lot more emphasis on finding an online customer base as well.

Thanks for the interview, and good luck to all of the other flower artists out there!


Isn't her work wonderful?  Here's her link again:

Hint of the day: there are a whole bunch of new "icepick" bails which work wonderfully
with thicker all-resin jewelry. Only a very tiny hole through the piece is needed, and the bails don't interfere with the design of the piece. Here's an example:
I've found bails as wide as 12 mm grip length, although the above one has a 6 mm length.
I very much appreciate your comments and  suggestions.  Chris

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Different View: Unique Pressed Flower Jewelry and Art

Hi! This summer in southern Oregon is turning out just gorgeous!  I've been able to gather and press more new kinds of flowers than any previous year.
I would like to introduce you to a pressed flower artist who uses stained glass with the flowers in a very unique way:  Chrys from aDifferentView

1) How did you get started with pressed flower art:
The short Version:
Quite by Accident.

The Details:
My art has been in a constant state of evolution until the last year or so. I have always dabbled in one form or another, from painting (all types), to sewing, to pen and ink, and so many other media in between. I even went so far as to pursue a BFA in graphic design, but I have made my career in ophthalmology research. About 4 years ago my father taught me the basics of stained glass. I made a few sun catchers, tea-light figurines, and now have completed 2 pet-portrait panels. Unfortunately, my pieces were not selling well enough to warrant keeping dozens of breakables around my house, especially for how often I move. So I went smaller, and began making glass bookmarks and little glass pendants. Those also were quite stagnant on my Etsy.

I have always been a "nature girl" and when things seemed to be going nowhere with my Etsy, I began trail walking more often and renewed my interest in herbalism. I began collecting flowers and herbs with the thought of trying out handcrafted incense blends. As I dried the herbs and flowers, I noticed how lovely the St. John's Wort and Cinquefoil flowers looked, even though they had not been put through a press. I had a thought to try preserving one of the St. John's Wort flowers in glass, and making a medallion from it for a birthday gift. That was when I knew I had found my little niche in the art-world! I have been creating my 'floral cameos' ever since.
2) What challenges have you encountered / What advice do you have for newcomers to pressed flower jewelry

The main challenges have been working through what will and will-not press well, and learning a whole new level of patience.

For the most part, if I try a flower and it does not do well in the press it's a case of "no worries, give her back to nature" and I toss the petals outside. Every once in a while it has happened that I have not been careful enough, and I put a damp flower in the press (it's been raining nonstop this spring, making my harvest season difficult!!). Twice now this has ruined several sheets of flowers from molding. It was a hard lesson, but I have been extra vigilant since the 2nd incident to make sure that when it's been raining, I blot the flowers and allow them to fully air-dry before pressing. And when I can help it, I wait a day after a rain to go harvesting. I have also started keeping a little record of what does press well so I can advise customers seeking original creation.

A note about pressing: flowers WILL look different when they come out of the press. It's inevitable, so I also try to keep a note of what has been put in so I will know what I am taking back out. I like to be able to tell people what they are wearing and there have been a few times I opened the press and had no clue what I was looking at! Sweet Williams are one flower that is very unusual after pressing.

3) Adding in a question here - Production Notes:
You can't rush this craft. People often ask me "how long a piece takes" and I can't honestly answer that. I find it easiest to work in 'batches', so I will make a dozen or so pendants at a time. But it's all in stages. You have to collect the flowers, press the flowers, wait and find which of those flowers can be used. Then there's cutting the glass and getting 2 pieces that match well (it is ridiculously difficult to cut a perfect circle out of glass. The circle cutters available do not work at the small size I need!) Then there is creating the arrangements, wrapping and soldering. And THEN the finishing. I have found recently that the more popular pendants are the ones that I put *less* into the finishing process... which surprised me. But it's a joy to give each medallion its own persona, so I will continue both forms.

4) What are your plans for the future?
I am currently working on an ACEO series, and some framed floral panels. The panel ideas was inspired by an Etsy team challenge, and my first attempt has gotten some wonderful feedback! I enjoy the larger pieces, and it will allow me to put larger flowers to use when I could not do so with my pendants. I am still trying out colour combinations and attempting to trouble-shoot how to preserve the flowers' appearance if they are to be hung in windows; but this is sure to be the next phase of evolution for my shop.

Thank you so much, Chrys

She has done things I hadn't even seen before, with the stained glass and flowers

Hint of the day:  I've tried every glue recommended for use securing resin to metal jewelry findings.  The only glue I've found totally dependable is two part epoxy glue. I use the 15 minute formula for heavier jewelry and the 5 minute formula for the lighter findings. It really is important to clean and score the two surfaces to be glued. I use a coarse sand paper.

Thank you for visiting.  Please leave comments and support the artists I feature.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Watch This Pressed Flower Artist! Introducing Anita

I'd like to introduce Anita from Purple Petals Studio, Etsy shop  and her other shop,

How did you get started with pressed flower art?
My sister-in-law had a pressed Queen Anne Lace framed in an arrangement in her living room. I loved it and decided that I could make one of my own, instead of buying it.
That opened a whole new world. I planted flower beds, where previously I hated gardening. I ended up pressing anything and everything and making pictures that I gave away as gifts. My friends and relatives encouraged me to sell them, so I did art & craft shows and eventually preserved wedding bouquets and memory pictures.
My first framed flowers were very simple and have now "blossomed" into intricate pieces of art. I still try to press any type of flower and some turn out and some don't, but the challenge is always moving me forward.

What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is convincing my customers that the flowers won't fade. I pick and press them in a certain way that keeps the color strong and I frame and seal them so they won't fade. Of course, if they are in the sun, they will fade just like your furniture would fade. If the pictures are taken care of properly, they will last for years. I have one customer that has had one for 20 plus years and she says that the colors are still beautiful.

What advice do you have for beginners?
For someone just starting to press, the best advice that I could give is to have patience. If you don't, you could end up with moldy flowers or poor coloring of the flowers. Some flowers you have to take apart and press each petal separately and then put them back together to look like the original flower. This takes mega patience!!

What are your plans for the future?

I also buy and sell antiques and vintage. To have a shop with those and my pressed flower artwork, would be the answer to a dream that I have had for years. We recently moved from Iowa to Tennessee and once I get my "act together", hope to open a little shop. I also want to build up my Etsy business. I have never taken the time to really read and take advantage of all that Etsy has to offer and I feel that if I would, my business would "blossom".

 Anita, thank you so much! Your work is wonderful.

Two hints for today!
I have always used waxed paper for my work surface. Recently, several resin artists I know have suggested silicone mats, which can be very inexpensive (mine is $9.00), doesn't have to be replaced after each pour, and lies flat.

Now that summer is here, I have to make sure the house doesn't get too warm. (We use the air conditioner but sometimes try to save money by waiting until it really gets warm).
Resin in a too-warm house sets about twice as fast as normal!

Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments and suggestions, and support of the artists I introduce!  Chris

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden Gifts Jewelry Shop: an interview with a fantastic pressed flower jewelry artist

I have the honor to present an interview with Cindy, from (non-Etsy!) shop Garden Gifts Jewelry.

How did you get started working with real flower jewelry?
My in-laws, Bev & Lawrie Garvin, are the ones who taught me everything I know about pressing flowers and making beautiful jewelry.  They also make this jewelry and sell it wholesale to the Gift shop in the famous Butchard Gardens in Victoria, BC Canada.  It  is a lot of fun to get together with Mom and Dad and trade ideas, plants and pressed flower.  There is a lot of experimentation involved in our process so it is always fun to learn from each other whenever possible.

When I first started making the jewelry I sold it at all the local Farmer's Markets.  As I started to feel more confident I expanded to Christmas and Artisan shows.  Every year I would see repeat customers.  If I did not show up at a show customers would contact me at my home.  But that takes up a lot of time.  After about 5 years of doing that  I decided to open an on line or web based store.  I also have another web based jewelry business with my husband.  Re-Cycled Accessories is a line of jewelry made with recycled bicycle parts.  So two websites, a full time job and a passion for cycling, running and swimming keeps me pretty busy.

What are your favorite flowers?
My favourite flowers to work with are Delphiniums.  I love the deep colours and the different varieties.  Roses and Pansies are also nice to work with and
are a favourite of many people.

What can you tell people just starting out?
My advice to anyone starting out is to start with fresh picked flowers, preferably ones that have just opened.  The pressing is the most important part. If you don't get a good press you may as well forget about going to the next step.  If a flower does not come out of the press looking 100 percent then don't use it!  There are a lot of flowers that do not press well.  Don't be disappointed.  Just find out which ones work best for you.Succulent flowers are very hard to press because they are so full of moisture.  Play around with different kinds of presses including the microwave type.  Practice, practice, practice and take notes, lots of notes.

Check out my flower jewelry at
check out my recycled jewelry at
 Thank you so much, Cindy. I think this is the loveliest flower jewelry I have ever seen!

Instead of a "hint of the day", I get to pat myself on the back a little. Yesterday I received the catalog from the Korean International Pressed Flower Competition. With it came my certificate indicating I had  placed as a finalist in the competition. Since this is the only competition I have ever entered as a jewelry artist, I am astonished and supremely honored!  Here is the piece of jewelry I entered:
 Thank you for stopping by. I love comments and questions.  Chris

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do You Believe in Fairies?

I'm honored to present published artist's Tauna Anderson's, with  works from Etsy shop Pressed For Time:  as well as some unpublished works. Her art is so incredible I keep going back to look again.

How did you get started in your art?
I was a little girl when I pressed my first four leaf clover between the pages of my favorite book and sandwiched it tightly between the others on the shelf. I enjoyed spending time with my Mother outdoors in the yard and garden. She loved growing things and had a green thumb that I envied.


Many years later, my own passion for flowers began when my sister invited me on an “adventure”, to pick and press flowers for a local business. I and my husband exchanged roles and I left for most of the summer while he stayed home with the kids. An adventure indeed!

Both of my parents are very artistic and I had always been supported and encouraged to be creative. At the end of the season I could not wait to make my first pressed flower picture. It was a simple wreath I entitled “Summer’s End”. I worked and played with my sister and the flowers for another summer and upon my return the business of Pressed for Time was born. I added my name to a growing number of individuals and companies who were exchanging pockets full of posies for an income.

What other type of art work have you done
During the next 15 years I was able to stay home and help support my family through my floral creations. I started out with a dozen designs and added cards, bookmarks, soap and candles to my growing business.
I enjoyed the summers with my children gathering flowers from our own gardens and the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

I always had a flower press in the trunk and if something was growing and I liked it, I would try and press it. During that time I wrote and published a book entitled “Pressing Flowers for Fun and Profit.” I outlined the steps I had learned and some of the “tricks” to picking, planting and pressing perfect flower petals. Also included was advice on what kind of flower press to use and ideas for pressed floral gifts.

How did you start making fairies?
A few years ago, I was inspired to experiment with my craft and created a series of angel and fairy images. I was very pleased with the outcome and continued to let my imagination and nature inspire other magical creations including mermaids, dragons, frogs, and elves, all made from pressed flowers, leaves and greenery. I call this unique artwork “Petal Painting.”

    Eventually I was able to have my work photographed and offer prints of many of my designs. The affordable prints captured all the vibrant textures, colors and magic of the originals and I soon turned my attention to making one-of-a-kind designs. Last summer I wrote a children’s book and illustrated it with the fantasy flower images that had been inspired by the fairy tales my mother told me when I was young.

Toward the end of last year, I was asked by DreamWorks to submit a concept for their consideration using pressed flowers as my medium. I chose a very challenging image (for me) from the movie Shrek ll. It turned out to be the best work I felt I had done although it was not chosen for licensing. I surprised myself with how far my artistic abilities had come since I pressed my first four leaf clover.

My latest project has been a portrait of Christ that I finally decided to try after the image kept coming to my mind. It was my first attempt at trying to capture something that needed to look as close to the subject matter as possible. With a desire and much inspiration, I have been able to bring my feelings about Jesus and my love of flowers together in another pressed floral design. Last year I pressed some white lilac and was disappointed that they turned dark brown. However, I have learned to never throw any "mistake" away. The deep copper color and texture ended up being perfect for the hair and beard of Jesus.

Currently I would like to find a publisher for my children's book and a place to display my original art. I am working on making a series of mandalas from pressed flowers and listening for inspiration for my next project. I would also like to learn more about computers and marketing my work on the Internet.
Pressed flowers and the art they have inspired have come a long way since their early popularity during the 1800’s. Now, everyone can enjoy this revived craft with the desire to preserve a flower memory and a phone book. Almost any growing thing can be pressed but for beginner’s success, start with something simple like a violet or pansy. Removing the moisture as quickly as possible is the secret to bright true colors.

What is your favorite flower?

I have enjoyed working with so many different flowers it is hard to decide on a favorite. One of those however is Columbine. One fresh or pressed Columbine is a piece of artwork in itself. I use their "curly tails" in a variety of my fantasy art for that perfect delicate accent to a mermaid's hair or a fairy wing. I adore the brilliance and color of fall leaves and the soft hues and fragrance of rose petals.

I still love opening a page of pressed flowers and being flooded with the fragrance and memories of those early years and the everlasting beauty that pressed flowers represent. There are certain icons that are universal and timeless in their meaning and flowers seem to have always been the perfect symbol of love and caring. What is more original and unique than the single petal of one of Mother Nature’s creations?

To plant a seed in the ground, take care of it and watch it grow, is a spiritual experience for me. Along with the enjoyment that flowers bring, I have been grateful to the little beauties over the last 20 years for helping me be able to support myself and my family and satisfy my creative urges. If you would like to see more of my work, please visit or my Etsy shop.

Tauna, than you so much. Your art is awesome!

Hint of the day:
 When I pick flowers for my jewelry, I generally gather a whole bunch, and press them. I always have some left over at the end of the season. However, I've found that  with some, only the most recent flowers do well in resin. After the flowers have been sitting in their envelopes for a month or two,  buttercups and  pink verbena degrade and every flaw is shown in the resin.  I have started putting the flowers in the jewelry right after I take them out of the press; once in resin, they stay looking good.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog.  I really appreciate your comments and your supporting the artists I interview.  Chris