Want to turn your latest frustration into beautiful art? Flower pounding might be the art medium you’ve been waiting for. Seriously, all you need is a hammer, fresh flowers, paper or fabric and a little suppressed rage. The process couldn’t be easier.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Hammer or mallet
- Pretreated Fabric (instructions below)
- Watercolor Paper
- Smooth surface (Like a cutting board)
- Wax Paper (optional)
CHOOSING THE BEST FLOWERS
To begin, choose fresh flowers and leaves with vibrant colors and interesting shapes.We found that flowers with flat petals worked best. Here are some of the varieties we chose:
- Balloon Flowers
Leaves with interesting textures and shapes can also be used to create unique designs, such as ferns, ivy, and most of the leaves from the flowers above.
Treating fabric before flower pounding can help the natural pigments of the flowers to adhere better to the fabric and create a more vibrant and long-lasting print. Here are some steps to treat fabric for flower pounding:
- Wash the fabric: Wash the fabric in cold water without any fabric softeners or detergents. This will help remove any sizing or dirt that may interfere with the flower pounding process.
- Soak the fabric: Soak the fabric in a mixture of water and alum powder for about 15-20 minutes. Alum is a natural mordant that helps to bind the pigments to the fabric. The ratio of water to alum powder should be 16:1.
- Rinse the fabric: After soaking, rinse the fabric thoroughly with cold water to remove any excess alum.
- Dry the fabric: Hang the fabric to air dry or tumble dry on low heat. Do not use fabric softeners or dryer sheets, as they can interfere with the flower pounding process.
Once the fabric is treated, it is ready for flower pounding.
Find a nice flat surface. Cutting boards work well for this. Cut each flower at the base, close enough to remove the whole stem while still keeping the flower intact. When you have an assortment of cut flowers in different sizes and shapes, arrange them face down on a piece of watercolor paper or fabric.
Cover the flowers with wax paper or more fabric. Working from the edges of the flowers inward, tap the flowers with your hammer or mallet. The natural pigment will be released and transferred on to your paper or fabric.
Once the petals have transferred enough pigment, remove the wax paper or fabric. Carefully peel off the actual flowers and let the surface dry.