Pressed Botanical Skull - The Fallen Queen

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In 2017, Hurricane Irma changed our natural environment overnight. Trees were toppled, leaves were stripped, limbs were broken and the flowers that bloomed just the day before were simply gone.

No birds were singing … no frogs were croaking.

There was only an eerie silence and a sense of heaviness.

I was overcome by sadness as I cleared away the tattered remains left behind by Irma. The natural environment I had lovingly tended & nurtured for 6 years was stripped down to the bare bones, beaten & bruised.

I felt incredibly blessed to have survived Irma. Our home wasn’t damaged & our family was safe, but I could not shake the incredible sorrow I felt.

After days of hauling debris to the curb I felt completely dejected. I knew nature would bounce back. It always does. I just wasn’t sure I would.

Three weeks post Irma I felt desperate to find some sort of normalcy again so I set out on a long nature walk to clear my mind.

As I listened to the Mocking birds once again singing, I was struck by the beauty of all the small plants that had weathered Irma… visible only now because their more sizable counterparts had bowed under the weight of the rain & winds.

And I was reminded that in the wake of death & destruction, life begins anew.

It was a wonderful message of hope: That life springs forward lead by the smallest, not the largest. No matter how much is stripped away or taken from us, there is always hope. You just need the tiniest spark to start again… to keep fighting on.

At that moment I felt a sense of balance & calm. And I was filled with excitement & anticipation at discovering life emerging from the ground.

It was in that same moment that the concept for this pressed botanical skull was born and The Fallen Queen arose…

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I designed a grapevine crown using young tendrils with beautiful swirls & curls. Small flowers and leaves are layered atop the grapevine crown and a grouping of leaves & petals forms a jewel that anchors the crown to the skull.

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I envisioned the skull sitting on the ground being overtaken by nature, so tendrils emerge from beneath & from within the skull, wrapping around it… consuming it.

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The crown feels feminine and light as it gracefully hugs the curved surfaces… a stark contrast to the heaviness of the skull. The color palette is subdued with small touches of earthy orange sprinkled among the hues of green & brown.

I dedicated 10 days to this pressed botanical skull, which included picking the flowers & pressing them for 7 days.

This project is rated a skill level of intermediate due to the curved surfaces of the skull & the use of grapevine tendrils, both of which make application more difficult.

The variety of pressed flowers you choose for your own project will impact the time needed for completion but using a ceramic skull for the surface as I did, makes this project best suited for those with intermediate to advanced skills.

 

pressed botanical skull

Pressed flower art: