Relief-printed wallpaper production with JamJar Flowers


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Different steps of the elevated print without colour and with colour © Factum Arte

Pressed flowers deteriorate over time, and each specimen's individual beauty and character, the evidence of its unique nature, is lost. Once a flower has bloomed it is already dying. Through scanning and rematerialising we can capture that material presence at a moment in time, through an innovative mix of art, science and technology.
JamJar Flowers has teamed up with Factum Arte to rethink the presentation of nature with today’s technologies. After seeing JamJar’s work at an exhibition in Covent Garden for the botanical magazine 'Rake's Progress', Rupert Wace brought Melissa Richardson together with Adam Lowe. This meeting in the months before the Covid pandemic, has resulted in a period of intensive pressing, mounting specimens, scanning, composite photography, material testing and elevated printing that is in direct dialogue with Alois Auer’s nature printing process developed in Vienna in the 1840s. The main difference is that we are not limited to actual size – the plants can grow like Triffids into vast specimens with extraordinary detail.

The first prototypes of these super-scaled specimens of pressed plants were on show at JamJar’s exhibition in the Tythe Barn at Thyme, 'The Nature of Thyme' (15 June - 12 September 2021), set amongst the ancient water meadows from which the specimens were gathered. 

A new collaboration between Factum Arte, JamJar Flowers and Rupert Wace has recently been experimenting with pressed flowers, using the innovative elevated printing system developed by Factum's long-time partner, Canon Production Printing (formerly Océ - A Canon Company).

From Wenzel Jamnitzer’s cast gold flowers to Japanese gyotaku, nature printing is one of the oldest and most diverse art forms. Factum's approach to nature printing resurrects the tradition of Alois Auer using digital recording and elevated 3D printing to preserve the beauty of pressed flowers indefinitely. Employing what are perhaps the world’s first 3D-printed colour transfers, these designs for wallpaper panels combine JamJar's fine skills in flower pressing and specimen gathering with the modern crafts of digital scanning and colour printing in relief.

A wide catalogue of flowers​ was first scanned with the Lucida 3D Scanner and photographed at high resolution, creating a rich digital archive of blooms. This data was ​then printed in relief and colour onto transfer paper and the ​3D prints of individual plants were applied in different configurations to different surfaces - from a flexible acrylic looking like raw plaster to watercolour paper. The results are far more stable and easier to display than the original plants. An app giving the ​Latin and common names of each plant is also under development.

JamJar Flowers was on display with this project at RHS Chelsea Virtual Flower Show from 18th to 23rd May 2020.

Pressed flowers being recorded with Lucida 3D Scanner © Factum Arte

Pressed flowers (with names) being recorded with Lucida 3D Scanner © Factum Arte

Pressed flowers being recorded with Lucida 3D Scanner in Factum's London headquarters © Factum Arte

Elevated printing process © Factum Arte

Experiments with different applications © Factum Arte

Positioning the 3D-printed flowers, still on adhesive paper © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

© Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

3D-printed flowers applied on the wallpaper

3D-printed flower applied on the wallpaper (detail) © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte

3D-printed flower applied on the wallpaper

3D-printed flower applied on the wallpaper (detail) © Oak Taylor Smith for Factum Arte


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