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Handmade Pressed Flowers by Eriko Nagata

For this holiday season, we partnered with New York based Floral Artist, Eriko Nagata of Erin Design International, to create beautifully handmade pressed flowers to be included with purchase of a gift set for you and your loved ones. 

As a Renaissance woman of flowers, Eriko has an eye for all things beautiful. She finds inspiration for her work in forms of nature, landscapes, natural stones, abstract art, architecture, and fashion. Her deep appreciation and affection for nature, and everlasting interest in art is reflected in each of her creations. She strives to exhibit a one of a kind coexistence of natural floral structure with modern art and fashion.  

Guided by principles of art theory and design, Eriko's aesthetic is modern elegance, dreamlike, natural beauty and seasonality. Amongst the one hundred pressed flowers are her selected seasonal flowers from her floral collection, with charming colors that depict the holiday season, like Eucalyptus, Christmas Rose, Astrantia, Autumn Hydrangea, and Limonium. She describes "I created variated styles; some of them are like botanical specimens, and some are like minimal abstract art by combining leaves".

While her designs are typically made for events, and commercial and editorial shoots, for this project, she created pressed flower holiday cards made on authentic Japanese paper - a beautiful, handmade creation to keep and enjoy. 

Asked about her favorite part of her work, she replied, "I always enjoy processes to accomplish a design; from selecting flowers to seeing reactions from people. Each work has a story that makes it unique and memorable."

Practicing sustainability is important to her, and she explains, "I have been creating upcycled flower art as my personal project. There is a lot of flower waste and leftovers from decorations and events. I want to transform these leftover flowers into new art". The pressed flowers are sustainable, refined pieces made with long-lasting natural flowers. The pressed flowers have been dried to preserve their delicate beauty, and as she describes is "living art".

The Japanese paper, or Washi used as the base for the cards are traditionally handmade. To make the paper, wood pulp is mixed with water and paste where it is then sieved by hand. The fibers become thoroughly entangled during the process, which allows the paper to be very durable yet airy, and forms a unique texture.


How to Make Pressed Flowers:

1. Place the flower face down on your paper and then lay another layer of paper on top. Repeat this to make the Millefeuille of paper and flowers, and then you are ready to press.

2. Press down the layers of paper and flower. You can use books, flat cardboard, or newspaper to accomplish this. Place the heavy book on the paper layer to weigh it down, and leave undisturbed for 5 to 7 days. 

3. Make sure all the moisture is gone and your flower is papery. 

4. When the flowers are ready, gently take them out and place them on the front side of the card. 

5. Trim stems and leaves as necessary to fit on the card. Be careful when holding the flowers as they are fragile!

6. Using a small paint brush and a water-based glue like Mod Podge, slowly and gently start tracing the stems first. 

7. Let the glue sit for about a minute before placing flowers back. Then continue with tracing the leaves, finishing with the petals.

8. And your card is ready!

It's going to be the most unique card- you won't find any other card like this one!

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