Lately there has been a lot of discussion on myArt Techniques group lately about "flower pounding". I have seen this done before on various TV programs but had never gotten around to trying it. Well, yesterday , as it turned out, was the day. First of all it was a gloomey rainy day. Second, I had friends coming down to play, one with a very artsy 5 year old boy in towe who always wanted to know "what we were going to do that was fun and new". The stakes were high!!!! My pansies have been glorious this year as I planted them this fall and they struggled thru the winter and then they literally burst forth into glorious color!!!
So I had the flowers, I had the tools , I had the company with high expectations, so we went for it!!
First of all I must show off my pansies!!
Often I am totally overwhelmed with how beautiful plants can be, and all from the tiniest of seeds! Absolutely amazing!!
And now, for something we know that you've all been waiting for!!!
These first two pondings were done on some scraps of handmade paper. THe blossoms were placed face down on a piece of the paper and another sheet was put down on top. Then using one hand to feel where the blossoms were, I pounded the paper with a large rubber mallet till I started to see moisture and color come thru the top sheet of paper. I lifted the top sheet to check on my progress and when I felt that I had hit every blossom sufficiently, I took off the top sheet and pulled the flower remnants from the bottom sheet.
It is really amazing how the colors transfer to the paper. Some colors do not appear on the paper as they presented on the blossom. In this picture( immediately above) , there are three small blossoms on the outside right that are shaped like small stars almost. Those began the process as bright magents creeping phlox. The pounding must alter the chemical makeup of the pigment because on the paper, we see a purple color. This takes me back to my high school chemistry days!! i am sure that my Advanced Biology teacher, Paul Chamberlain, would have the answer for me!!!
I also did some pounding on unbleached muslin. The pictures follow!
All in all, we had great fun with this technique and my 5 year old friend Cal, was well entertained!
i think that I might have sparked some scientific interest in him as well as he was theorizing why the orange pigment transfered so well vs. the magenta. I think that I prefer my pansies and Johnny Jump Ups "un pounded" but I am going to try some azalea blossoms just for fun!