Yeah, I am a great fan of pressing flower petals in the pages of my books and cherish them, later. But on viewing some fantastic art with these dried petal and leaves provoked me to dig deep on it.
And this art has a name, Oshibana.
This is the art of using pressed flowers and other botanical materials to create an entire picture from these natural elements. This includes whole flowers, petals, leaves and varied organic pieces and are pressed until dry and flat.
This art started on Japan. In early 16th century, Samurai warriors in Japan were said to have created Oshibana as one of their disciplines to promote patience, harmony with nature and powers of concentration.
This gradually spread with the advent of trade in the West.This art form became popular in the Holy Land in the late 1890s. In the 20th century, elaborate souvenir books combining photographs of the holy sites and the pressed flowers were lgathered. These photographs of pressed, dried flowers were artistically formatted and bound between olive wood covers to be sold to visitors.
Botanists in Europe began systematic collection and preservation of specimens, art forms with the pressed plant materials. This developed particularly during Victorian times.
American actress Grace Kelly, during her years as Princess Grace of Monaco, practiced Oshibana and helped promote the art of pressed flowers worldwide, employing pressed botanical materials sent to her from abroad. Her book – “My Book of Flowers” was published in 1980.
How it’s done!
This art is done by pressing methods, framing techniques and color enhancing to help the pressed materials keep their beauty through the years. Nobuo Sugino, pioneering figure in contemporary Oshibana, and his father developed a groundbreaking method of using dessicant papers to press flowers, helping hold color.
A method of vacuum-sealing frames to lock in color, texture and clarity of the petals and leaves and help prevent moisture and fungi intrusion. This was also developed in Japan and now this is used worldwide.
Creation of an Oshibana, a pressed floral art work, goes through several time-consuming stages. It begins with selection of flowers, leaves and other plant material such as bark, branches and so on. Crucially, these components need to be picked at the right time so that their colours can be preserved in the best possible way.
Drying and pressing the material is the next important phase requiring not only time but also skills and experience – skills that really set apart an apprentice from a master presser.
Once the required parts reach the preserved state, the artist can use them to create a pressed floral design, by making several sketches of the future artwork and carefully arranging the dry flowers, leaves, etc. on a mat.
This process is not as simple as it sounds as multiple tries and re-arrangements are required as well as critical reviews of the artistic concept.
Only when the overall image emerges from the individual “mosaic” pieces, capturing the idea of the artist and the final steps: sealing the pressed flowers under a glass, taking the air out (so that the colours are preserved for centuries), and fitting the work into a matching frame. Each and every steps of this process require extreme caution and patience, as a simple mistake can seriously setback or even ruin the work.
However, it is the artist’s creativity that makes a great Oshibana, distinguishing it from a good craft works or beginners’ attempts.
Let’s have a view on famous Oshibana
- This is an old art and it’s homeland is Japan
- This is not only an abstract art but to make a representational pictures.
- The artist here, first arrange the dried flowers on mat.
- In early Victorian era, Japanese and European traders began trading more often, resulting in Oshibana becoming more popular amongst artists in Victorian society.
- Nobuo Sugino is now President of the International Pressed Flower Art Society, and also the author of the “International Pressed Flower Art Book”.
We always found provoke in a bad term but today this provoke, enlightened me with some beautiful knowledge.
It provoke me in a nice way.