with Aleka Artemis
I have honed my skills in botanical pounding, in which I put flowers, buds, leaves, and herbs on watercolor paper, cover them with wax paper and pound the flora with a hammer, imprinting the pigment permanently into the watercolor paper. I add only touches of black or gold archival art markers.
I’ve learned that certain flora do not leave much or any pigment behind. Woody plants, such as roses, do not. Some very vibrant flowers, such as day lilies and fuchsia, that are fleshy actually splat and make a mess, no matter how delicately one pounds. Chrysanthemums look like they’d be gorgeous but release comparatively little pigment. Other double flowers need to have their petals separated before pounding or there is no definition.
From the beginning I noticed I become absorbed in the act of mindfulness in collecting the flora, composing, pounding and accenting.
Trial and error were my teachers in collecting flora, which includes leaves. I often collect weeds to try, also. Not every flower pounds well. Many produce a very different color upon imprinting.
1. Choosing and Collecting the Flora
2. Pouning the Flora
After gathering the flora, I retrieve my hammer, wax paper, and watercolor paper. As in this photo, I sometimes choose fading bouquets from the florist.
3. Pounded Botanicals Need My Artistic Touch
Botanicals don't pound perfectly, and often produce imprinted colors that the flora doesn't appear to have to the eye. I begin to give form to unpounded parts with a fine art marker.
4. Mounting, Matting, & Framing
I often add touches of gold archival marker. Sometimes, I trim the edges of the paper away and mount on handmade paper before matting and framing. I label each with the name(s) of the flora in the pounding. Each pounding is an original, not a print. I sell them framed or only matted, as the customer wishes.