Hammered flowers with CAT GILBERT
Thank you all for joining me for Hammered Flowers at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. Your support of the Museum is so important and I love showcasing new types of design and art whenever I can! Please see some history of Hammered Flowers below and a step by step guide on how to do Hammered Flowers at home. And don't forget to sign up for future classes as the Villa or book a private class with me for your next event!
The history of hammered flower art can be traced back to ancient times. Pressed flower art was practiced by the ancient Egyptians, who used it to create decorative pieces and for religious purposes. They would press flowers and plants between sheets of papyrus or linen and incorporate them into burial rituals and ceremonies.
There is also a suggested history of flower pounding (called Hapa Zome or Tataki Zome) being used in ancient times in Japan. The Mexican techniques of using natural dyes for fabrics more than likely had a great incluence on hammered flowers as well.
The art of flower pounding gained popularity during the Victorian era in the 19th century. This era was known for its fascination with botany and the natural world. Women, in particular, enjoyed collecting and preserving flowers as a hobby. They would press flowers in books, creating detailed collections known as herbariums.
Hammered flower art as we know it today began to emerge in the late 20th century. Artists and crafters discovered that pounding flowers with a hammer released their natural pigments, resulting in vibrant and detailed imprints on paper or fabric. This technique allowed for more artistic freedom and creativity compared to traditional pressed flower arrangements.
Hammered flower art became especially popular in the 1970s and 1980s when the interest in crafts and do-it-yourself projects soared. Artists and enthusiasts experimented with various flowers and leaves, exploring the different colors and textures that could be achieved through hammering. They used hammers, mallets, or even rubber mallets to gently pound the flowers onto paper or fabric, creating unique designs and patterns.
Over time, hammered flower art has evolved and expanded, with artists incorporating other techniques such as hand-painting, embroidery, or collage to enhance their creations. It has become a beloved craft that combines nature, creativity, and a touch of nostalgia.
Fresh flowers (freshly picked spring flowers (like petunias) work very well. I've also found herbs, leafy vegetables, iris, and other flowers with delicate petals work best.)
Thick paper (I use water color paper) or mordanted fabric (I suggest 100% cotton but you can also use silk, wool or other fabrics, just be sure to research how to prepare each type of fabric.)
Paper towel or parchment paper
Markers, pens or paint (optional)
Collect your flowers and choose your arrangement. Remember, once you use a flower, it cannot be reused. So, it is important to either do tests of the same flower before you use them all or predecide what you plan to use where. I prefer to do the arrangement with one element at a time, so you may want to stage your arrangement before you start hammering.