Martha Starke

2016-06-15 Martha Starke 001Martha Starke, a pressed flower artist from Saratoga Springs, NY, creates whimsical one-of-a-kind framed art and playful notecards — dubbed “Petal People Press” — made from pressed flower petals, ferns and leaves.

“My father gasped when I showed him some “weird-looking flowers” that I had picked from deep in the woods. They turned out to be endangered Lady’s Slipper flowers, so pink and sweet-smelling in the earthy forest that no little girl would have passed them by. Cradling them in my palms, I placed them into the pages of a thick book so that, once pressed, I could examine their curious bulbous shape.

“And so began my fascination with pressing flowers. That was more than four decades ago and I haven’t stopped being intrigued by the colors, shapes and textures of botanicals. When I made my first pressed flower art figures in 2009, I dubbed them Petal People and printed my favorites onto notecards. Now I have more than 60 designs for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, weddings, new babies, graduations and all of life’s celebrations and events.

“I sell my printed cards at VAM, as well as original one-of-a-kind whimsical figures, created from real botanicals from my garden (or snatched from road sides and fields). No part of them is drawn, painted or enhanced in any way. You can see my art at Valley Artisans Market and in my Etsy shop at

“I hope you feel the joy and passion in everything I make!”