Mar 22, 2022 Activities & Education In today’s activity, find the first flowers of spring and press them to create a work of art inspired by Flora C. Mace’s Big Violet (2013)! Look Closer: Flora C. Mace, Big Violet, 2013, botanical, glass, composite, and steel stand, 16 1/2 x 14 x 6 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2020.96. © Flora C. Mace. Photography by Edward C. Robison III. Take a look at Big Violet by Flora C. Mace. What do you notice? Have you ever seen this type of flower before? Mace is an artist who likes to experiment with glass. In this work, she has encased a violet in a slab of glass to preserve the flower’s shape and color. Because flowers are delicate and only bloom for a little while, many people have tried to preserve their beauty by pressing or drying them. Mace’s technique is impressive because it looks realistic and lifelike. Even the roots are still shown with the plant! People also preserve flowers because they have sentimental meaning. Is there a particular flower or plant that reminds you of a special person or event? Materials Needed: Book Wax paper Flowers Paper Markers Liquid glue Instructions Step 1: Go outside to explore what flowers are beginning to bloom. Pick a few you would like to press. Arrange the flowers on the wax paper, then close the book to press. Wait 2-3 days to check and see if your flowers are ready! Step 2: On your paper, draw a pattern that you would like to have in the background. You could find inspiration in the outdoors, maybe creating a scene of where you found these flowers. I chose to draw raindrops, creating a rainy day scene. Step 3: Try arranging your flowers on the paper until you are happy with the scene. Turn your pressed flowers over and add glue to the back. Step 4: Press each flower into the paper after adding the glue. Hold the flowers down gently for at least 10 seconds. When you’ve finished share your creation with a friend! Have fun creating! Written by Marlie Allgood, studio educator, Crystal Bridges.