I first tried this craft at an earth day celebration several years ago. We made bookmarks and pounded purple violets and yellow forsythia onto fabric. I loved seeing the flowers' colours and shapes transfer onto the fabric. One woman, I remember, wasn't so enamoured. "That's cruel to nature," she said, "Why are you doing this at a festival that honours the earth?"
I digress. This year, I learned a name for this artform: hapa zome. There are many ways to do this, but what worked for us was to put a block of wood on the table, put fabric on top, then place leaves and flowers on it, followed by paper towel. Then hammer! And hammer! And get all the juices you can out of the plant.
So much fun for any age. As long as you can wield a hammer, you can enjoy this craft. I'm thinking that some year, I'll make a quilt with blocks of flower-printed loveliness. Some year.
We used flowers and leaves that we could collect at this time of year: Japanese maple (beautiful red colour), pink apple blossoms, purple violets, yellow dandelions, green dandelion leaves and 3 leaf clovers. It was magical to watch the children open the paper towel to see what had been printed on the fabric.
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play