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FLOWER PRESSING TUTORIAL WITH TALLER SILVESTRE
Flower pressing arrived in the West towards the close of the 16th century, some time after trade lines opened up with Japan. In Japan, Oshibana, or the art of arranging pressed dried flowers on paper to create decorative images, has been a cultural art form for centuries. Over time, the technique reached the western world, where people started creating albums of botanical cuttings collected at home or away on vacation. Later on, during the First World War, pressed flowers evolved into something even more poignant: soldiers would collect wild flowers from the trenches and sent them home in letters as a “forget-me-not” message to their families.
Taller Silvestre has recovered this beautiful art form, bringing back the romanticism of the process and inviting us to seek out moments to reflect on how to care for all that surrounds us. With the idea of taking some time for ourselves and restoring our connection with nature, we suggested to Alina and Verónica that we re-connect with tradition, essence, and the earth. That’s when they suggested a simple tutorial on how to make a press with something we all have: a Naguisa box.
“The art of pressing flowers, leaves, and plants provides hours of enjoyment throughout the entire process. Venturing into the countryside to collect flowers, the care taken to press them, the joy of opening the press to see the results, sorting them into groups... The entire process allows for the senses to take over and becomes a pleasurable delight. It gifts us moments of tranquility, beauty, and enjoyment.”
For Alina and Verónica, the main working tool at Taller Silvestre is a drying press with which they extract the moisture from the flowers. It is made with proximity materials, such as poplar wood, which is local to the area of the Najerilla River basin, in la Rioja. But sometimes, when they are traveling or they just run out of pressing surfaces, they use their creativity to develop new presses with materials that are within reach such as boxes, magazines, books or rope...
In this case, the material they used to create the press was a Naguisa box and some straps for fastening. They devised a simple, practical press that is easy to carry just by disassembling the box and cutting some rectangles to use as lids and press bases.
The tools needed to press flowers are very simple and easy to get; you will probably have almost everything at home.
The materials used for the press were:
cardboard, blotting paper and rubber bands or straps for fastening.
In addition, Alina and Veronica used another box to make a container where to store the pressed flowers.
"Shoe boxes are the perfect solution for storing them, as they are made of a breathable material that allows us to create levels in various heights and store them horizontally."