Instead of placing flowers inside a vase, Shannon Clegg uses plants and blooms to construct the vessel itself. The UK-based artist employs her background in tailoring, crafts, and design to form exquisite objects from natural materials. This ongoing series, titled Bouquet, features vase-like sculptures constructed from colorful flowers that have been dried and pressed.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Clegg has had a lifelong love for flora and traditional arts and crafts. After relocating to London, she sought out a creative practice that would merge her interests, leading to the project of biophilic design. Each of these ethereal pieces is made using Clegg's unique hand-mold process, which she developed after researching methods of storing flowers at The Herbarium at The Royal Botanic Garden at Kew.
Every aspect of this art form requires time and patience. First, Clegg forages plants in nature, finding suitable pieces for her vision. After they are cut, she preserves them through flower pressing; however, rather than simply pressing them flat, the botanicals are dried in the shape of a hollow vase using the unique process she developed. Overall, this process can take up to six weeks, but once the sculptures are formed, they are capable of lasting years, depending on the types of plants used and other variables.
You can see Clegg's work in person at BeCraft in Brussels, Belgium, until February 12, 2023, and at the Collect Art Fair represented by Ruup & Form at the Somerset House in London from March 3 to March 5, 2023. To learn how to commission your own vase, you can visit Clegg's website, and be sure to follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest projects and exhibitions.