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This Local Artist Crafts Her Handmade Works with Preserved Flowers

Read how Krystal Festerly's one-of-a-kind pieces come to full bloom

By As told to Sarah Pfledderer

Krystal Festerly

Krystal Festerly

I’m happiest when I’m creating, whether that be art, a new recipe, or simply planting flowers. But I never really thought I could become a full-time artist. Fear crippled me from taking that big leap. However, after my husband had an aneurysm in late 2019, that completely changed his life—and all of our lives— forever. I decided life was too short to let fear continue preventing me from living and breathing art as a career path.

Floral preservation starts long before I cast the flowers into their molds. It begins each winter as I plan the following year’s garden. I research flowers, choose color schemes, buy plants and seeds, and begin the long, joyous process of caring for the garden. Once my garden is in full bloom, I preserve most of my flowers in floral silica gel, which acts as a quick dehydrator for the flowers while preserving their various colors and textures. It takes me anywhere from 30 days to months to create a finished artwork, depending on the size and scope of the piece, pouring resin in stages, sanding, buffing, then finally polishing.

My work forces me to move slowly and calls me to quietly marvel at the miraculous way in which a plant can grow from a simple seed into a flower. It’s an artwork in itself. Preserving something that would eventually fade has taught me such an important lesson in valuing every moment in my life. My work is a continual reminder that there is always beauty to behold and joy to be found. No matter how fleeting the time, how harsh the weather, or how rocky the soil, flowers bloom. And so should we.

Krystal Festerly


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