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How to Create Pressed Flower Figurines

Suzanne Shelton takes her love of gardening and creates figurative sculptures out of dried flowers.

Project by Suzanne Shelton from Richardson, Texas.

After being raised by a family of gardeners and eventually marrying a gardener, it’s no surprise that flowers are a vital ingredient of Suzanne’s unique craft. She makes figurative relief sculptures from dried flowers and other found organic materials.

Materials:

microwave
paper plates
tissue paper
flowers/organic materials (vines, seed pods)
water color paper
paintbrush
glue
small tools to manipulate flower pieces
handmade paper
spray adhesive
craft knife
shadow box frame w/mat
scissors

Steps:

1. Dry flowers/foliage in the microwave. It makes the drying process very time efficient and the brilliant colors are preserved.

2. Manipulate dried pieces to resemble a figure doing an activity or evoking an attitude or behavior. Start with a piece of 5" x 7" watercolor paper. Move pieces around to see what works best aesthetically. Consider the figure’s attire and activity. Try to capture the playfulness and fun. Also consider proportion and movement of the figure and switch out pieces until the image works visually, considering colors and size. The girls usually have some kind of prop included in the image like an umbrella, skates, a car, etc. Try putting two figures together.

3. Using white craft glue and a small paintbrush, lift up the pieces and paint or dab glue under each piece to secure it to the watercolor paper.

4. Title the piece. Consider what the figure might be saying or thinking; many times, the title has to do with the activity of the figure.

5. Spray the mat with spray adhesive. Carefully press the mat onto the handmade paper along the top and side edge of the paper. Use the two edges of the paper so you only have two additional sides to cut. Apply pressure to the mat to ensure that it adheres to the paper.

6. Trim the excess paper from the other two sides of the mat.

7. Turn the mat face down (the side with the art paper down). With a craft knife, make an "X" cut in the opening of the mat. Make sure the cut starts precisely in the corner of the mat opening.

8. Pull the triangle shapes (made from the "X") taught and fold each one over the edges of the mat opening. Spray more adhesive if needed to adhere the paper to the back of the mat. Gently smooth the opening edges with a cloth or your finger to get nice clean edges around the mat opening.

9. Sign your mat with the title or your name. Assemble the shadow box frame with your flower image and enhanced mat.

Website: www.tadastudio.com

E-mail: tadastudio@aol.com

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