Dorothy Kelly
~ Affinity With Nature ~
Since 1985


A new & improved website is currently being designed, please check back soon for the
new bright & beautiful Agenia's Crafts. I am Currently showcasing a display of my work at the
Penrith City Library Until March 11th 2016.


Welcome To My Website


Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's CraftsMy name is Dorothy Kelly - International Pressed Flower Artist. I am known throughout Australia, England, America & Japan. My passion in life is working with Australian Native Flowers, creating " Floral Affinity " It was my dream to show case Mother Natures flowers in their natural beauty, to work & play with flowers, Today I am living my dream.  I design and create my works of art with nothing more than the flowers themselves for inspiration. Selling my designs through a few places in and around Sydney & designing original pieces upon request keeps me busy. I also exhibit my works a few times a year in different exhibits & shows.


Agenia's Crafts was born in 1985 after a whirl wind trip to England for the wedding of my daughter and her husband to be. For their special day I created Bouquets, Table Decorations, Posies, Button Holes, & Church Flower Arrangements. Upon returning to my home in The Blue Mountains I knew that I wanted do this for more than just a hobby. With 20 + years of working with flowers, I have mastered the art of collecting, pressing, preserving & designing art with Australia’s National Flora .


I collect, press &  preserve  Australia Native Flowers, presenting them as designs in cards, bookmarks, brooches, fans & framed wall hangings. I have to keep up my own supplies of plants & flora so that I can have plenty for the many designs I create. This also ensures me that when the seasons change that I have plenty to see me through the Non seasonal times of year. As I cannot pick Native Australian Flowers in Australia’s National Parks (because it is illegal to do so), I have Family, friends and of course my own garden to source from to keep up my own supplies. I have been known to be found foraging into bushes & climbing trees with ladders, to source outA Framed Wall Hanging Of Australian Native Flowers -  - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Crafts blooms before they go out of season. I do on an occasion purchase some of the flowers I need from suppliers around.


I chose Native Australian Flowers to work with for a few reasons. 1. For many years outside my window, my garden was adorned by flowers of many kinds, but my love for Australian Native Flowers filled my gardens that myself and my family over many years built up and grew throughout the years. My inspiration was my view outside my own windows. Kangaroo Paw, Bottle Brush, Grevillia’s are just a few of the Australian Natives that we grew. 2. Australia Native Flowers retain their colours, & shapes after pressing. Their simplicity & natural beauty’s are worthy of them being preserved for what would be a long time past their life time.


My affinity with nature started by picking flowers and making them into posies, as my skills grew I began to make wedding bouquets & flower arrangements with both silk and fresh cut flowers. It seems that, growing, collecting, pressing, preserving & working with flowers was a natural progression. Long before Agenia’s Crafts was born I was very much in awe of nature. As a child I used to pick flowers out of the gardens that my parents grew & worked tirelessly in. They themselves A Fan Design - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Craftshad a very impressive collection of over 2000 cactus. My parents instilled in me my deep appreciation of the Botanical World.


I work from my home at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Sydney Australia. Last year my husband and I sold our home of 30+ years and down sized to a smaller home in a near by suburb. We are slowly making it our home & we are adjusting to the down size in space. Our old family home further up the mountain had many of the flowers that I used in my designs, we did not bring our garden that we spent many hours in over the years, but our new home and garden is a work in progress. Someday soon, but in a smaller format we will have the beauty of our garden again.


Throughout my journey of working with Australian Native Flowers I have learnt that nothing lasts forever – through my works I have slowed down the natural progression of nature by drying and pressing flowers. Someday they will be returned to nature as they were intended to be, but if they are well cared for they will last for many many years. I have also learnt that you cannot press and dry every flower, leaning that waxy flowers are not ideal because they store too much moisture within their stems, petals and leaves.


My arts and crafts journey does not stop there, it seems that I have been gifted the artistic gene. I have many other abilities in the artsy world some are as follows; decoupage, folk art, & with my husband we have created a beautiful baby cradle that our Grandchildren slept in when visiting us. It was a beautiful cradle all done with wood that we later had gum nuts and kookaburra’s carved into it by a family friend. Many years ago I attended evening college and undertook a wood work class. There I made a coffee table that was a centre piece to our family room and to our family gatherings. It is a very large and heavy peace with barley twists & compartments for storage. Since we have moved into a smaller place it is way to large for us to use, we still have it but it is now being stored. One of my most treasured pieces of work is that of an urn that I have hand painted, I use it only for decoration but it could be used as a functionalMy Entry To The Japanese 10th Annual Competition Of Pressed Flowers Pictures " Exhibition Of Creation " piece if I wished to use it.


My greatest experiences throughout my journey of Agenia’s Crafts is the many people I have met along the way. Watching them in awe as I hand then a piece of finished work that was commissioned to me is the greatest reward of all. For many years I have been able to sell my designs through various outlets throughout New South Wales under my business name Agenia’s Crafts. I have supplied places like the Rocks In Sydney NSW, The Fairmont Resort In Leura NSW, Glenbrook Information Centre Glenbrook NSW, Thru the Rainbow Cowra NSW, Badgerys Gallery Lawson NSW just to name a few.


My Dream of working with Australian Native Flowers internationally was certainly realised when in 1986 when I received a phone call from the International Pressed Flower Art Society from Japan I was asked many questions on my own pressed flower accomplishments, I was asked questions like how many lessons and awards I have undertaken and won?, feeling like I was out of my depths I answered with the only answer I knew. I told them that I had never undertaken any classes or even learnt to work with flowers professionally. In Japan it is seen that the more certificates you have the more accomplished you are. At the end of my phone call with the International Pressed Flower Art Society I felt that I had accomplished a great deal of things and felt very humble. A few weeks on the International Pressed Flower Art Society sent me a book on Oshibana. Oshibana is the Japanese word for Pressed Flower Art. They also sent an entry form to the International Pressed Flower Art Society cJapanese Flower Scene... Done In Australian Native Flowers - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Craftsompetition. This was the beginning of my international Pressed Flower journey. There are many people from all other countries that do Oshibana but there are only two of us that live in Australia that are internationally acclaimed. Myself and another lad who herself is Japanese but living in Australia. I also have my work published in books in throughout Japan.

- I have both entered and won competitions and awards in Japan. In 1997 during the Nagano Winter Olympics Festival Of Culture & Art – with over 18,269 entries, 40,000 visitors of this art exhibition I won many awards here. In 1999 I won a prize entered by 41 international & 117 Japanese Pressed Flower Artists. This resulted in my works being published in 4 books that are seen throughout Japan and the International Pressed Flower Artists Community. For me this was a reward in itself, all the years of hard work had finally part off. Being recognised in Japan is an honour; it affirms that I not only feel that my work is great but that others think so also. For someone who has never had any formal lessons, it makes me feel like I have in my grasp a great accomplishment. Through the Japanese I have represented Australia in Japan as well as England.

In September 2000 for one week and through the period of the Sydney Olympic Games
I held an exhibition of my

works within Sydney. In October 2000 at the Japanese gardens in Cowra NSW an exhibitions of my works was shown. During the Sakura Matsuri, Cherry Blossom Festival I not only exhibited my works but had the opportunity to demonstrate one of my works being created in front of many people and cultures. In 2001 I entered the Philadelphia Flower Show I won 1st at Melbourne Show.


In March 2006 under a Cultural Exchange. I travelled to Japan and taught workshops/seminars in Yokohama under the full bloomedA Framed Wall Hanging Of Australian Native Flowers -  - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Crafts cherry blossoms using Australian Native Flowers to fellow Japanese Oshibana Pressed Flower Artists. Before I went to Japan I prepared 110 kits containing a mix of Australian Native Flowers that were already dried and pressed of which a sent ahead of my arrival. At the seminar 90 Japanese, International Pressed Flower Art Society Members attended and learnt how to design with flowers that were unfamiliar to them, the Japanese were in awe with what they learnt and the materials that they were learning with. The Japanese were very gracious people, they treated my like a Queen, I was very humble and in awe with them also. Whilst I was in Japan I visited many places & some of Japans Ancient Cities. Some of my favourites were Yokohama, Kamakura, Kyoto. At the end of my visit the participants each in turn stood to tell me about their impressions of the seminar, some of them even presented me with some of their works and books

The Japanese saw me as a teacher, but I think that they taught me as much about the culture, their respect of themselves, others and their country as I did about my art. When I returned to my home at the foot of the mountains, I was asked if a visit from the President Of the International Pressed Flower Art Society and 32 Japanese Students could be organised for later that year, and that November, they visited me at my home. I made my visitors homemade cakes & pies, and showed them how to press thicker branched flowers such as the Banksia. The Japanese were in awe with my many flowers and with the dry air in Sydney; they found it suitable for pressing flowers at night. I also went with them to show them and to share some of my knowledge of the Blue Mountains. The Japanese threw a dinner party at a hotel within Sydney in appreciation of their visit and their cultural exchange. At first I felt like I was the least accredited, the whole experience showed me a whole new world; I came home from Japan with a whole newA Framed Map Of Australia Design - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Crafts appreciation for my craft and my ability.


Other Accomplishment that i have are vast and many, here are a few, On a weekly bases I have hosted workshops at my own home with a local counselling group,
a group of woman from different walks of life with different needs. At these workshops I taught them how to paint and design their own designs with a wide range of mediums, from folk art, decoupage, painting of wood. These workshops gave this woman a sense of belonging. Some of them became good enough in their own right that today they are making, creating and selling their own pieces at local markets.


In 2008 I was the first ever Australian to enter work into the Philadelphia Flower Show in the U.S.A. The Philadelphia Flower Show is the biggest indoor Flower Show in the world and was opened to people worldwide who do Oshibana. I was very proud to achieve a 3rd place win. It has been a wonderful experience working with the beauty and wonder of nature.


Through my journey, I have learnt so much about Nature, Australia, Australia’s Flora and the wide diversity of plants and flowers that not only grow here but also for that ones that are readily available to us. Through my journey meeting the cultures of other people and countries such as Japan has only served to strengthen my love for Nature, Flowers and of course my own love of Native Australian Flowers. I find it hard at times as an artist to relate to others, as there one other person within Australia that collects, presses, preserves & designs with flowers that I have met, she lives here in Australia but she herself is Japanese. It was a great experience to share and enjoy with sometime that has A Framed Wall Hanging Design - Dorothy Kelly - Agenia's Craftsmy same interests. What makes my work unique is that I collect and, press all flowers that are used in my designs. I then design all my own artwork using the flowers themselves as inspiration, following their shape, colours and contours. My work has been displayed in Galleries and gift shops throughout Sydney and New South Wales. It is uniquely Australian. My journey through my flower work has given me the greatest joys in my life.

Wether you are looking for a simple card as a gift to send to friends/family abroad, or if you are after a piece of Australiana, or if you are just after a piece of Australiana, I invite you to discuss your needs with me via phone, email or you can make an appointment to see see me.

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