By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
When I dress, I do it consciously. To fit in. To stand out. To make a statement. Details depend on my mood and event. For work, I’m conservative, for a party playful.
As I’ve elevated my social conscience, I attend environmental and farm-to-table events – dinners, farm market fundraisers, workshops and such. I’m even going to a farm-themed wedding in October. For these occasions, I want my attire to play a supporting role.
On a junking trip with my mom, I found a vintage necklace with porcelain strawberries and miniature straw baskets hanging from silver filigree links. What fun to wear for a farm event and worth the $25.
At our next stop, an antique store, I found a gold electroplated leaf of curly parsley. For $4!!! I’ve seen maple leaves and gingko leaves, but parsley? Score.
I want classy or kitschy, but not mass production. I’ll scour first- and second-hand. Ah, but Google “herb jewelry” and the credit card is in danger.
My favorite botanical jewelry artist is Michael Michaud. I first encountered his work at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. He creates with the lyrical parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme as well as lavender, basil and peppermint. It’s so hard to choose.
After drooling over Michaud’s fine art collection, I turned to etsy.com for handcrafted interpretations. And, what fun I had.
I found dried herb material in tiny glass vials as pendants or leaves encased in resin for rings and bracelets. I stumbled on herbs stamped into precious metal and polymer clay. I discovered them cast in metal or electroplated. Entire etsy “shops” are dedicated to glass beads that look like spikey lavender blooms.
Just shut down my PayPal account already.
Ginamarie Engels from of MyriadMirage in Nyack, New York, presses sage, lavender, eucalyptus between glass or casts them in resin to create pendants, cuffs, earrings and more. These “terrariums” stop time.
“My ideas are inspired by nature,” says Gina. “Sometimes I wake up and feel inspired to share an herb’s beauty. I want to share the artistry in nature.”
Spin the globe east to Sochi, Russia, where Tamara Borisova surrounds lavender sprigs with wooden frames and encases all in resin.
“I live in a beautiful city with a huge variety of plants,” writes Tamara. “These are the northern subtropics in the world. I live in the city center, but the forest is growing behind my house. How do I not get inspiration here?”
Lavender with its texture and color is a favored muse. But, chives and dandelion fluff move the creative spirit of Isabell Kiefhaber of Kirchheim Germany.
“Very often, I’m inspired just by being around with open eyes on the details of life,” she says. “I zoom in on things or moments and keep them in mind. The fast heartbeat of cities like Berlin or the slow-motion climbing into mountain areas can be inspiring. Usually situations of everyday life, put into another context, are the biggest inspiration.
These three young women are just few of artists moved by herbs. An Etsy search for herb jewelry can busy me for hours.
What herbal jewelry have you found at retail, art shows or online?