Mary Beth Lopresti: Hi! I am Mary Beth Lopresti with All Seasons Floral Preservation and today, I am showing you how to press flowers. We've already selected our flowers and prepare them for the press and now I am going to show you how to microwave press. There are two methods of pressing flowers. With this method, we find that it works very well with dark colored flowers and it helps for the flowers to retain their color overtime.
This Microfleur is the brand that we use, however, there are all other brands and you could find what works best for you. This particular microwave press has four clamps, a vented plastic exterior shell, a woolen pad and a muslin pad, and to press your flowers is very simple. We just take them, you can press them right on to the muslin, however, we prefer to use tissue paper and in that way, we are able to easily get them in and out of the presses and then to store them which I will be talking about in the future segment.
Once we have arranged the flowers onto the press, you are able to put them in, just cover the tissue and just rebuild your sandwich. Put the clamp on each of the sides and that holds the pressure. So it's being pressed and the moisture is allowed to escape through the holes in the press, while it's in the microwave.
Other flower such as the delphinium, it's more interesting in floral art to have different views because when you look at the delphinium in the vase, sometimes you are seeing it face on, other times you are seeing a side view and we want to be able to replicate that in the floral art.
So here is a delphinium where it will be a straight on view, and as we'd prepared in the previous clip, this would be a side view delphinium. And we could have these also, if we like that and on the same together. So you just want to be sure that when you're putting it into the press that the flowers are laying down in that way, when you sandwich it into the press, so that when you remove them, they are all pressed in the proper manner.
We'll also press pansies in the microwave because those flowers with their strong colors do very well in the microwave. Now I am going to place the rose petals in, we just press them for about one minute and then we are able to take them out and you will be able to see the beautiful pressed rose petals.
We just removed our flowers, they have been in the microwave press for one minute. Well, let's take a look and see how they have turned out. You want to be careful when you are opening the microwave press because as you can see, there is moisture on the casing and also there is moisture on the pad, so that shows you that this was taken out of the flowers. I usually use a dry paper towel just to get those moisture spots out to keep the pads fresh and then we can open up and see our pressed flowers.
We usually use tweezers when handling flowers because they are so delicate and there you can see our pressed pansy. And we also press some stems, so that if we want to recreate a pansy with a stem, then we can do that. It's best not to press the flower on the stem because it will make a ridge in the flower and the stem will show through. So it's best to press them separately but they can go in the press together.
Right now these microwave presses are warm, however, if you do use them over and over, they can become very hot, so you need to be careful. Again, wiping down the casing and the pad, and with our red rose as you can see that they became very dark in the pressing process, and they are also very brittle.
So you can see the difference between a microwave pressed rose and a fresh rose. If we were to press this rose using the phone book method which takes longer to dry, the red roses would become even darker. So the microwave pressing is the ideal method, however, if you don't have a microwave press I can show you how to press flowers without using one.
And our next flower is the delphinium, let's take a look and see how they turned out, see a delphinium. And you can see here is a delphinium that is a straight on view and then we have the pretty side view. I often press extra delphinium petals, they usually often fall down and often when doing floral art, we can put a petal behind a petal that's a little bit lighter just to add some more depth and body to the color. We'll get into that as we are doing our crafts.
So that's how you use a microwave press in pressing flowers. In our next segment, I will show you how to use a phone book to press flowers.