It’s time to preserve botanicals

It’s time to preserve botanicals for art play this winter.

One of the reasons I preserve leaves and flowers is so I can use them before they come alive. One spring several years ago I wanted to sun print ferns, but I couldn’t since the ferns were not growing yet. So now I preserve the botanicals while they are alive, and then I can use them all year. My first post on preserving was in 2014.

The recipe to preserve is simple. All you need is glycerin and hot water. Mix 1 part glycerin in 2 parts of hot water. Add your botanicals one-by-one, making sure every part of the plant is covered. Let them stay in the solution for several days. Then remove them and place on paper towels.

Place paper towel over botanical and blot.

Continue this process, stacking the botanicals.

Once you are finished you’ll have a stack like this.

I let these sit for a couple days to make sure they are dry, and then placed in containers paper towels and all.

Once they are preserved, they can be used over and over. These are ones from 2014 that I’m still using.

Now for a few ways to used these preserved botanicals. Links are to posts about the techniques.

Here I used them with gelatin plates.

Leaf printing

Printing using Solarfast

Sun printing posts here.

sun printed fabric using setacolorsSo if you’re wanting to botanicals to print all year, now is the time to preserve them.