Flowers! It's all about the flowers...
I can see how that might seem shouty. And I don't want to startle you. But I do want you to take notice. Take notice of the flowers and plants that sprout forth out of all the cracks in the pavements, the fissures in the brick walls, the base of the trees. Maybe you just see weeds - I see wild flowers. Food for the bees. The stuff of life, the building blocks of our environment. Since I was a little girl I have loved looking for - and looking AT - flowers. Flowers in the gardens, flowers in the hedgerows, flowers in the woods, flowers on the moors, in the meadows, on the verges. And then.....life got in the way. I grew up, I got a job, a house, a social life. I got busy. But at the same time, life leached out. I was bereft, and I didn't know why. And then one day, I remembered, and I understood, that looking at the flowers was actually the most important thing I could do. Looking at the flowers, and helping other people to see them too.
Paper flowers are 'a thing', a quick internet search will show you this. Paper flowers are also an amazing way to view flowers in a fresh light. I love the flexibility working with paper gives me, especially this exceptionally malleable form of paper, crepe. Crepe can be manipulated, shaped, worked, cut, twisted, dyed, faded, wired and glued. When I'm making a paper wildflower, I start by examining the actual flower - using a magnifier or under a microscope if necessary. I draw it, if I'm able to pick it I'll dissect it and work out how it's put together. Although - and this is the fascinating, amazing thing - flowers are not put together. They grow! From a seed. All that plant, from a tiny seed. It might take me weeks to come close to creating an acceptable facsimile of that flower. But if that helps me to see it clearer and understand it better, and if it helps others to see the things our naked eye cannot, then I have achieved my goal. Because...it is really all about the flowers.
My process, when creating my botanical pieces, is to leave as small a foot print as possible. I use crepe paper, waxed tape, a small amount of PVA and hot glue and wire. I am always interested in new ways of colouring the paper, inks and dyes, and also the question of glue. Any information and suggestions any one can give me are welcomed!