Pressed Botanical Art: Nature’s Answer to Greenery. Foraged.
It conjures up images of an ancient practice, a sacred one that can only be passed down through generations. Wading through forests, gathering very specific plants for perhaps an almost magical purpose.
Forage: An animal or person searching widely for food or provision. Germanic or Old French in origin.
Here it refers to someone who walks around with a basket, collecting flowers for arrangements, installations and pressed botanical art.
Inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year, Greenery, and the continuous lifestyle movement towards a simpler, slow way that draws from the past, we had a chat to Janine Vermeulen, owner of Foraged, about her craft.
Working from her home-based studio in Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, Janine describes herself as a floral stylist for events and weddings. But to us, that description is a little lacking in colour to do justice to her beautiful work.
She finds them, snips them, handles them, styles and bundles them, photographs them and finally, the one we at Tassels & Tigers interiors are most interested in, dries, frames and sells them.
Pressed Botanical Art
“I've been foraging almost all my life and have pressed flowers for cards since I was eight. I would walk through my grandmother's garden and she would tell me the names of all the flowers she grew.”
Given her green fingered family and an aunt in the same industry (see, a practice passed down from generations), it was a clear that she needed to work with flowers when Janine left her digital marketing career for something more creative.
“The flower pressing is something I've done for many years, and I worked in the wedding industry previously, so I decided, wedding flowers it will be. It came so naturally and once I started, I just knew I found my thing.”
Obviously being a respecter of nature, Janine prefers working with seasonal flowers and plants from the region and even from her own garden. Then she listens to her clients’ needs in terms of color, feel and certain flower species they have an affinity or dislike for.
“Each of my clients are so different. Most of them love the natural, clean aesthetic of what I do, but I do have clients who want colorful and dramatic floral designs as well. My aim is to give them what makes them happy without compromising on the character of my work.”
Perhaps one of the greatest things about working with nature elements in art is the unlikeness and unpredictability it brings. Two pressed pansies in a frame will never look the same.
Her pressed botanical art is made to order per species, size and design specifications, which also determine the prices. For collections under 10 pieces, there is a mere two-week lead time. We can’t wait for the first girly birthday of the year to come along so we can give the bespoke gift of décor greenery.
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