Kate Chu's Pressed Flower Art
About Myself and My Pressed Flower Art
My name is Kate Chu and I am the artist and teacher behind this web site.
We may all have experienced placing a leaf or flower between the pages of a book. The dried plant material later reminds us of a particular experience or occasion. I have gone beyond this casual approach, however, and started seriously pressing flowers after I first saw pressed flower art while traveling on a business trip in the summer of 1992. I was touched by the vibrant colors and the natural form of flowers presented in such an artistic way.
I love flowers, and I love arts and crafts. Pressed flowers give me a wonderful combination of these two loves. I am so pleased that my flowers from the garden can be preserved as if they were still alive. I am also glad that I can use these miracles of nature to artistically express my feelings and ideas freely. This art form calms my mind and relieves stress. I love gardening and floral arrangement, and the flowers themselves actually give me a lot of inspiration. I study and examine flowers in my garden closely and carefully, and many of my ideas for my work come from flower arrangements. However, my art works are not limited to flowers. I also use leaves, moss, grass, seeds, tree branches and more in my work. Occasionally, I enter craft shows and sell some of my work, but I also love to give it as gifts to family and friends. Everyone who has seen my pressed flower work has asked why I have not made it into a business, but for now it remains one of my hobbies since I work full-time and have a family to care for.
My friends encouraged me to teach and share my hobby, so I started teaching pressed flower art part-time in 1997. I have developed a system that has helped so many people create beautiful pressed flower artwork even without any previous art training. My students range from age 5 to seniors. Together we have had many successful exhibitions and also volunteered at local libraries for community arts-and-crafts projects. Teaching gives me a chance for self-improvement, as it pushes me to read and study further and to think seriously about creativity and pressed flower art.
The Internet is an excellent forum for communication, and through it I am in contact with other pressed flower art teachers and students from around the world. Initially, I used email to send instructions and sample pictures to my remote students, then this website was created for those students who needed to view samples at home, and has expanded to include instructions as well. I have also been managing an internet pressed-flowers group since 1999, which has grown to several hundred members from all over the world. In addition, I am one of the founders of the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild and have servers as its 1st president. Currently I am serving a the president of the WWPFG again.
My website has a retail store which carries, among other things, pressed flowers from Asia and flowers from my own garden. I began distributing these flowers in November, 2000, and they are top quality and suitable for both hobbyist and professional. These flowers are also great for those who want to do something with pressed flower art but cannot find time to press for themselves. Many people who buy these flowers use them to decorate wedding invitations. Whatever the projects, these flowers are ready for you to use right away without having to pick and press them and wait for them to dry. I sell desiccant products for those who wants to press flowers and obtain good results. I carry Microfleur for those wanting to press with microwave oven. These products are made in the USA. I carry Japanese desiccant press, pressing paper, and supplies needed for vacuum sealing pressed flower pictures. I also carry other tools such as optical surgical scissors and tweezes for precision design and Magic-glos and foil for making pressed flower jewelry. Of course, one can find pressed flower gifts, gift certificate, and limited edition prints of my works.
2001 was an exciting and busy year for me. I entered the International Pressed Flower Art Society's "International Pressed Plant Postcard Competition", and the UK's Pressed Flower Guild Overseas Award program. I am very happy to have received a Fine Works Award from IPFAS, and an Award with Merit from the UK's Pressed Flower Guild.
I entered the Philadelphia Flower Show and Harvest Show Pressed Plant competitions in 2002. I am very happy to report that I received two honorable mentions in the Spring, and a first place award in the fall. I also entered the UK's Pressed Flower Guild Overseas Award program in 2002, and received their Grade II award. In addition to these competitions in 2002, I was a guest artist on the HGTV Insider's Garden show <http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/shows_tig/article/0,,HGTV_3893_1506683,00.html>.
I have entered the Philadelphia Flower Show Pressed Plant competition yearly, and have been happy to receive many awards. In 2008, I have changed my role in the show to serve as a judge.
In 2004, I entered the Call to Arts Expo in February in Pasadena, California. Two of my pictures made it to the finals. This is the first time pressed flower art has competed side by side with all the other fine arts mediums from all over the world. I am so excited that one of my pictures received a 1st place award. What an honor! I have entered the Call to Arts Expo in September again. My entry made to the final.
The 1st face-to-face World Wide Pressed Flower Guild conference took place in June of 2005. I have served as a judge in the competition and have taught a few classes. It was so exciting meeting new and old friends from all over the world. I have presented "International Pressed Flower Art" to South China Agricultural University by invitation in June. Seeing so many people learning pressed flower art in college is a joy. I am so happy to find out that pressed flower art is being taught as a full-credited university course in one of the top universities in China. My book "Charlotte's Garden" was published in May. I am listed in the Perennials (a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine) resources in May also. My artworks are now displayed in art.com. I made the front page of local newspaper in September.
2006 has been a very busy year for me. I have co-organized the 2006 World Wide Pressed Flower Conference in Moline, IL in June and also have taught a class. I have accepted an invitation from the Orange County Fair and have done a large pressed flower art exhibition in July. The exhibition has been very successful promoting pressed flower art. Many fair goers signed up for my class. I am so happy to see that general public enjoyed and liked pressed flower art. Jessica Maich's Twenty-Four Questions for Billy poetry book was published with my artwork on the cover.
I am co-organizing the 2007 World Wide Pressed Flower Conference in Clarkseville, GA in June. I have received another invitation to do a large pressed flower art exhibition in Orange County Fair 7/13 - 8/5, 2007. I am serving as the chair person and host for the 2008 World Wide Pressed Flower Conference in Anaheim, CA.
I have co-organized the 2010 World Wide Pressed Flower Conference in Guangzhou, China. I am hosting another conference in Anaheim, CA January of 2014.
I went to Oxford, England to attend the PFG's spring conference in 2011 and taught two classes there. I went to S. Korea to receive my competition cash awards in April of 2012. It was such an honor!
Currently serving as the president of the World Wide Pressed Flower Guild and the internet lead for the Pressed Flower guild, I continue to promote pressed flower art and spread the joy of flowers around the world.
Pressed flower art is not only beautiful but also helps one to connect the body to the soul. It is a way for one to calm the mind for better health. Here is a magazine from Argentina (in Spanish) talking about this. Uno Mismo
I believe pressed flower art is a gift from nature. It should be shared and enjoyed by everyone and not just a few. I will continue to explore new aspects of this art form and come up with new projects for my students. This site will hopefully serve as a good communication tool to reach even more people with this beautiful art form.
Copyright Kate Chu 1998 - 2015 All Rights Reserved