Hi, my name is Katy and I am the maker behind Imprint Casts. I am a botanical casting artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I specialise in preserving wedding flowers using a unique casting process to turn fresh flowers into permanent artworks, which make a precious keepsake and memory of special days.
All my botanical casts are made using the same unique casting process and all made entirely by hand. The imprint of the flowers and foliage is taken in clay and then preserved in plaster of Paris after all remnants of the flowers have been carefully removed from the clay by hand with tweezers. Seed by seed and petal by petal. I use a combination of grey or terracotta clay to capture the floral imprint and either leave the casts in their natural plaster finish or hand paint the background using unwanted household tester paint pots.
It was my inspiring mum, Sue, who first learned the casting technique on a weekend workshop in London. What started as a personal project to cast her own stunning garden in Fife, has grown arms and legs in the last four years. Imprint Casts, the business, was born from an increasing demand from friends and family for her botanical tiles. I took over from her in 2020 and now manage all the making, sales, marketing, and everything else (small indie business wearing all the hats type situation!) but still need the nod of approval from the matriarch before signing off on any casts.
I work between a little barn studio in Fife nestled in the garden my mum has created over 20 years and a small studio in Edinburgh where I live. I am usually busy with my wedding bouquet commissions but I also work with interior designers and clients to create large site specific casts. I have also created a bespoke range of casts for interior designer Birdie Fortescue and Jessica Buckley as well as updating my own webshop regularly with casts created using flowers from my mums Fife garden.
How do I get my bouquet to you?
I will work with you to advise best possible solutions to getting the bouquet to us as quickly as possible after the wedding, either by courier, hand delivered by someone who has been at wedding or dropped off by your florist. I offer a collection service within Edinburgh and Fife for £15 or if you are getting married outside Edinburgh/Fife then please get in touch to organise a pre paid postage option.
For this, I will send you a bouquet box with a pre paid postage label included - all you have to do is keep the bouquet in water overnight after the wedding, pop it carefully into the box and pack it securely, pop the label on and get someone to take it to the nearest post office or drop off point for collection. It will be couriered using a 24 hour service and I will cast it the day it arrives.
How fresh do the flowers have to be and can you work with dried flowers?
Ideally I need the flowers within 48 - 72 hours so I can make sure the stems have not perished before I am able to cast them. Wilted flowers become soft and papery which makes them difficult to create a proper imprint from. I can work with some dried flowers but most aren't suitable as I need to apply quite a bit of pressure to the flowers to create the imprint which isn't easy with fragile dried flowers. In order to create an interesting composition I need at least 15 - 18 stems from the bouquet, so you can either send us the whole bouquet or select a good bunch of your favourite flowers from it to cast.
Can you work with all flowers or are there any that aren't suitable for casting?
Unfortunately not all flowers are suitable for casting, some are too delicate or leave to subtle an imprint. Large roses and Peonies - two bouquet favourites - sadly are the least suited to casting so it won’t be possible to include these in the bridal cast. Smaller headed roses or lisianthus work well as an alternative to larger roses. I will work with you, or your florist, to make sure there are suitable flowers in your bouquet for casting. We always try to solely use flowers from your bouquet to create the cast, but if any have been damaged in transit or are too wilted then we can supplement identical fresh flowers to create your cast.
I can also cast your bridesmaids flowers, perfect for a little thank you to those ladies (or lads) who have helped make your day perfect. Bridesmaids casts are a little smaller and there are various sizes and finished to choose from for your main ladies. There is also the option of using any left over flowers to create a set of small hanging casts which can be gifted to family or friends who have played a special role in your day.
What are the casts made of?
My botanical casts are made the same process and the end product if 100% plaster. I take the impression of your bouquet in either grey or terracotta clay and there is some clay residue left on the front of the cast and they are either carefully cleaned and left in their natural plaster state to finish or carefully hand painted. All my casts come ready to hang so you can get it on your walls, on a shelf or propped on a wee easel and gaze on it to remind you of your big day. The casts are made of plaster of paris so they are fragile but just treat them like any ceramic object. They can be gently cleaned and dusted with a dry lint free cloth.
How long does the process take?
I will normally make your cast on the day your bouquet arrives in my studio. Once the imprint has been made, the plaster take 10 - 12 weeks to dry out. Once they are ready I will either arrange a drop off/collection or post out. Please note there is an additional cost to post and I will send a postage quote to you and add the total to the final invoice. I offer a variety of sizes and shapes of casts (check out my website for more detail) and you can opt to have your cast framed or hand painted (or both!).
I am getting married abroad - can you still cast my bouquet?
Unfortunately it is unlikely you will be able to get your flowers back to me within 72 hours of your foreign wedding. However I can recreate your bouquet by sourcing identical flowers for a small fee and cast these. Whilst they might not be the flowers you held on your big day, the cast will still represent the flowers that helped make your day special. Please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will see what I can do.