Pressing Hellebores: The Perils and Pleasures of Pressing

Updated: Jan 2

 

Using a microwave to press plants is an inexact science involving a lot of trial

and error! I wanted to capture the beauty of some Hellebores that were flowering.

I selected a lone flower, a flower with a leaf and a flower with leaves

and a bud. The microwave is a great tool for pressing flowers, but I knew

that this was going to be risky in this case. You can see in the photo below

that some of the end points of the petals have turned brown. This is because

the heat has dried out the points owing to the petals' thinness before the thicker

parts such as stems and buds have sufficiently dried. I had to stop microwaving

after the second short burst and realised that another method would have to be

utilised in order to dry out the material that still held moisture.
















So I decided to use silica crystals for the very first time and I wish that I'd used

this method many years before now. I placed the flowers in a press and then

placed the press on top of about an inch of silica crystals in a tub and then put

the lid on to ensure that it stayed airtight. The press was left in for a couple of

days before I checked on the flowers' progress. The lone flower and flower

with a leaf had become lovely and dry without being brittle, but the bud attached

to the other flower still felt damp. I placed this in the silica crystals as it was, face

down and carefully put more silica crystals on top to completely cover it.

I am hoping that in 2-3 days' time this will be dry (and not brittle) and ready for

me to use in one of my flower creations.


flower and bud face down in silica crystals
Hellebore in silica crystals - a method for drying



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