The beauty of nature is extraordinary—but temporary. A rose unfurling its petals, a sunflower welcoming the light, a Japanese maple filling a landscape with gold and red—all of them exist for a brief moment and then disappear forever.
Botanical jewelry offers a chance to preserve the beauty of nature forever. Golden leaves or blooming flowers can be crafted into pendants or earrings that can be worn and treasured for a lifetime.
You can learn how to make your own botanical jewelry at a Dec. 10 workshop by nature artist Becky Nelson. At the end of the class, you’ll have a unique piece to give as a gift or wear yourself as well as the skills to explore this craft at home.
Nelson has always found inspiration for her art in nature, and for the last six or seven years she has refined a process to incorporate dried flowers, stems and leaves into her work using epoxy resins. These resins dry clear while preserving the plant material inside.
“I use a type of resin that hardens under UV light,” says Nelson. “It’s great because it dries within a few minutes.”
In the class, students will arrange a flower or leaf inside a metal ring known as a bezel. They will then pour the resin over the flower, sealing it in place. After the resin is cured under a UV light, the bezel can be worn as jewelry. Students will have the option to create either a pendant or earrings.
Nelson will provide dried flowers including blackfoot daisies and bluebonnets for students to make their jewelry. “Students can also bring their own dried plants,” says Nelson. “You want a very small flower or bit of a leaf–nothing bigger than a fifty cent coin. And the material must be completely dry.”
The process of working with the resin is straightforward, and Nelson will teach the techniques needed for the best results. Students should come away from the class with a finished piece of jewelry and the skills to explore the craft further.
“You can find all of the materials you need–the resins, lights, and bezels–at craft stores, and they aren’t expensive,” says Nelson. “Once you see how easy it is, you’ll be hooked.”