By Phran Novelli
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some of the most overlooked highlights of The Flower Show are the Pressed Plant works of art. So, make it a point to look for them – they’re framed and hanging on a wall.
This year’s depictions of Union Jacks and other British icons are so realistic, people passing by might think they’re paintings – or photographs. But stop and look closely and you see that they’re made from flattened plant parts.
I was lucky enough to chat with artist and judge Jeanne Helmers, who encouraged me by explaining that you can pick flowers from your own garden and press the petals and leaves in a phone book weighted evenly across – with perhaps a dictionary or three. (A good use for those phone books and other heavy tomes you may not be referring to so often these days.) The plant colors sometimes fade or change as they dry, so you just have to experiment and see what you get. When the plant parts are flat and dry, you can use ordinary white glue to put your picture together.
For years, she taught kindergarteners to make these works of art, so that makes me feel like I might be able to do it. Check out the Pressed Plant artwork at The Flower Show and you may decide to try it too.