Author: Clair Lythgoe

Blog Content

Alex’s wild woodland bouquet…

 

The 2021 wedding season is back and in full swing… and so is flower pressing!…  Alex & Ben got hitched at Larmer Tree Gardens here in Dorset back in May, and it was all about the foliage, of course! As you can see from the above image by Kate Gray… Alex chose a medley of textured woodland foliage and ferns…

It’s all about choosing the right textures, shapes and colours to create that perfect woodland vibe and as you all know I’m huge sucker for ferns… Alex’s bouquet contained two of my favourites, sword fern and maiden hair fern, these added lots of texture and floaty elements to her bouquet… two different types of eucalyptus added lighter tones along with olive foliage… woodland ivy and dark green fine ruscus added glossy trailing elements… A few dainty white flowers dotted through lifted the base of green using a variety of dainty wax flower, aquilegia, larkspur and ranunculus…

All that texture running through her bouquet is highlighted beautifully in her pressed flower frames, not only does foliage preserve so well, it holds its true colour, which sadly doesn’t happen with lots of other flowers during the pressing process… the whole point for me is to translate the wedding vibe into hanging art, and I think this is portrayed perfectly here…

 

Blog Content

Hannah’s preserved wedding bouquet…

My lovely bride Hannah, who got married December 30th at Sopley Mill here in Dorset, asked me to recreate her wedding bouquet for her in a series of pressed flower frames… That’s the beauty of what I do, I can go back in time, purchase the same kind of flowers, and get pressing…

When it comes to squishing flowers between two bits of wood, you’ve got to get them just at the right time of opening, trial and error taught me this over the years… I’ve got to admit, I had trepidation over one of her flowers, ranunculus… These bad boys can be a bit temperamental at the best of times, pressing them was a worry as they’re quite soft and fleshy, prime candidates to just rot away between the blotting paper… This is when the special treatment is called for. Instead of hanging them in my warm room at my studio, I took these guys home and baby sat them. The best place for them is right on top of the radiator, nice and warm and dry… Every few days I’d check them, keeping my fingers crossed! I was over the moon with the results, they kept their colour and you can also see the detail of the delicate layers of petals, this was a good day in the pressed flower world…

I’m at my happiest when I’m getting creative back at my studio… I had a series of frames to make for mum – mum in law and of course Hannah herself (what epic gift ideas by the way!)… everything was set out in front of me and I tweaked and played until it was just perfect… 

I like to create detailed linear designs with a layered effect, making sure you can see the best details of each flower, or piece of foliage… I honestly do get such a kick out of it… It’s very much like my wedding flower work, I play and tweak and play and tweak until it’s just right, then I stand back with a smile on my face and say ‘yes! That’s’ it’.

So this little selection is hanging on Hannah’s family wall’s, a piece of time preserved forever!

Blog Content

My Flower Pressing Journey…

My flower pressing journey started in 2019 after a number of my brides kept asking ‘how can I preserve my wedding bouquet’… after doing a little research I found a company online who preserved entire bouquets in 3D frames. I was blown away at the detail and how the flowers kept their colour, and I thought to myself, ‘I wanna try this’!… I decided to spend the winter months, outside of the wedding season, researching methods and traditional techniques, when I stumbled across pressing… This method of flower preserving appealed to me much more than using a machine to dehydrate them… so off to work I went making my own traditional wooden presses, lots of them!

When Covid hit the world in 2020, destroying the wedding industry, I decided to go full steam ahead and launch a new business, trying to diversify in the face of complete disaster! And what a journey I’ve had! I’ve got to admit, I’ve had some complete failures during my pressing journey, including flowers completely evaporating in the press! Don’t ask me how… with trial and error, press after press, I’ve finally mastered the technique…

And so I present to you my first ever pressed flower frame… this has a bit of a sad story attached to it… My first wedding in the spring of 2020 was cancelled two days before the big day due to Covid, having bought all the flowers and prepared the bouquets, there was nothing left to do but press them! I posted this to my bride as a surprise, a keep sake for the bouquet she never got to hold and walk down the aisle… I hope, a little sliver lining after a very sad event…

Now there’s no stopping me, I’m taking orders from my brides years ago, asking me to recreate their wedding bouquet. I’ve also pressed and framed some very special funeral flowers, created bespoke orders for a lady who has flower names in all 3 of her children’s names, plus I just had fun foraging Dorset’s wild countryside and of course my own garden!

I now never leave the house without a pair of secateurs! there’s quite literally inspiration everywhere!