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The Art of Drying Flowers

I reckon you are already aware that there is more than one way to dry or preserve flowers, right? Well, this post is going to explore a few of these methods and hopefully one of them will grab your attention so that you will give it a red-hot go!

What does the Sturt's Dessert Pea have to do with drying flowers? Absolutely nothing! I painted this beauty, and it is the South Australian Native Floral Emblem (I live in Adelaide) - and I like it! I think if you could grab hold of this gorgeous flower, it might dry just as well as any other.

Flower preservation through 'pressing' is an age-old method of storing moments in time that conjure special memory and sentiment - most often gathered randomly while on walks or kept as mementos given as expressions of love. Many flowers have been preserved lovingly, pressed within the pages of Bibles and books (not ideal as the moisture can ruin the page unless you have blotting paper on hand to envelope the flowers).

Vintage or Antique Flower Presses instruct us that this has been a longstanding artform of preserving the glorious bounty of herbs and flowers down through the ages.

The outstanding creative ingenuity of people has resulted in a variety of flower preservation methods (including making one's own press), to clever forms of contemporary measures such as Silica Gel, use of the Microwave, or even Ironing flowers. This has inspired even the timidest of creators to gather the darling buds of May.

I have actually tried a few different methods of drying flowers to use in my creative exploits and I will endeavour to share them with you now.

A Truth: Sensibility demands utilising the quickest way possible to remove the moisture while also preserving the colour of the blossom. Importantly, it is also wise to consider preserving the form and structure of the plant including leaves, tendrils, seeds. Leaf shapes and seeds can be a wonderful addition to your creative projects.

We will work from slowest to swiftest methods below, beginning with:

1. The Flower Press

The Flower Press is one of the slowest methods of drying flowers, but it can be worth the wait (anywhere up to six months for some flower types - yikes). It can also be a therapeutic process and exciting at the outcome reveal.

All flowers can be dried whether large or small, thick or flimsy - the Flower Press can handle them all very well.

Obviously if you don't have one of these you can simply go to my recent Flower Press post and get it happening.