Favoured by the Victorians as a method for creating ever-lasting keepsakes and mementoes of special occasions, the long-standing tradition of flower pressing is seeing somewhat of a revival of late. International artist, Rebecca Louise Law, has notably brought the concept of preserving flowers back into the mainstream through her use of preserved flowers to create large-scale installations, and models in the Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Spring Summer 2017 show caused a storm, with pressed flowers adhered to their faces, necks and chests.
Heeding the call of a return to the traditional craft are Yellow Diva founders, Felicity and Dave, who created Memento, a unique, hand-made and simply beautiful flower press to create your own floral keepsakes at home. We spoke to Felicity to find out more and we are delighted to offer you the chance to win a Memento flower press of your own (RRP about £75). More details below.
Tell us about yourself, Felicity, how did you come to be the Creative Director at Yellow Diva?
Yellow Diva was founded by my partner David Walley when we were both living in London so I had an informal involvement right from its inception. My background in architecture and set design meant I was more familiar with the manipulation of spaces than objects but by the time we made the move to Melbourne I was up to speed and had developed a strong instinct for the direction I felt the company should take.
For anyone who’s unfamiliar, can you tell us a little more about the brand?
Yellow Diva is an innovative design studio producing unique contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories for the commercial and residential markets. Over the years we have supplied creative clients across the globe, from multinationals to dedicated individuals who have all fallen in love with the Yellow Diva aesthetic.
How would you describe your brand ethos?
In a saturated market, we try to avoid replicating what is already out there. Above all, we aim to create something original to inspire and delight the user. Our collections are all produced locally, by a dedicated group of skilled manufacturers and artisans, so we maintain a hands-on relationship throughout the process, ensuring the product story remains ours from the first sketch to the final stage of production.
We’re so excited to be giving away a Memento flower press to one of our readers. Can you tell us more about it?
Plants have been dried under pressure to preserve them since the sixteenth century. Memento flower press honours and continues this tradition, conserving treasured blooms as part of a special memory: wildflowers gathered on a spring morning, sprigs from a wedding bouquet or a posy from a landmark birthday.
Memento flower press consists of a cast iron pressing plate with an embossed botanical illustration by artist Bruce Slorach. Beneath the weight, stacked archival blotting paper is interlaced with cork on a base of Australian Blackwood. The stack is bound together by a chocolate brown Tuscan leather strap, secured with a button stud.
Why did you introduce this particular piece into your range?
Memento was inspired by a luxurious weekend idly spent in a gorgeous private house set in five acres of wonderful flower-filled gardens. Back home our daughter dug out my little childhood flower press to preserve her delicate floral garland. We started thinking about how we might re-imagine a flower press as a beautiful artefact, like a coffee table book to house your floral memories. There’s currently a huge global interest in mindfulness and slow living and Memento taps into these movements. Whilst it is utterly contemporary it feels quite timeless and makes hyourical references without being nostalgic.
How was your experience of pressing flowers with Memento?
We love it, our Memento always has a flower or two between the leaves! We have experimented with a variety of different flowers in our studio. I was particularly proud of our result with Billy Buttons (Craspedia) as this specimen was so plump and three-dimensional when fresh.
Do you have a favourite flower?
Having moved from urban central London to a sleepy seaside suburb of Melbourne, my idea of natural beauty has been skewed somewhat. In our garden here I never cease to be delighted by the wild iris (dietes grandiflora) which flowers so fleetingly but in such abundance after any rain. But for a vase, I would probably still have to choose tulips.
WIN Your Own Memento Flower Press
We’re delighted to have a gorgeous Memento flower press to give away to one lucky winner!
For your chance to win, simply email email@example.com with ‘Memento Flower Press Giveaway’ as the subject line, your name, address and the correct answer to the question, ‘during what era did the hobby of flower pressing become popular?’.
Entries accepted until midnight, Wednesday 7 March 2018. Worldwide entrants welcome.
A winner for each product will be picked at random and contacted via email on 8 March 2018. One Memento flower press will be sent to the address specified during entry. One entry per email address only. All entrants will be added to the McQueens mailing list.