Whenever I approach a new project dealing with nature, I have to make decisions about what I think will be the best way to present the specific features of the item in question. Some beauties of nature simply can’t be represented in art. They need to be shown exactly as they are, in the purest form possible. Seed pods fall into this category in my world. They possess delicate intricacies that I can only clumsily hope to replicate, so I want to use them in their natural form. However, they are transient and fragile and will perish if not treated in some way. So, I turn to electro-forming; a process that allows for the transfer a very thin coat of metal onto an object, sealing the actual object within the metal while preserving every detail of its personality. The framed copper wall art shown here, along with a picture of untreated Mountain Laurel seed pods, is a perfect example of the delightful benefits of electro-forming.
Mountain Laurel is a broad-leaf evergreen shrub found in most of the eastern United States as far west as Indiana and Louisiana. It is usually found on rocky slopes and mountain forests and it flourishes in our North Carolina Mountains. It flowers in May and June and its green capsule-shaped seed pods appear shortly thereafter. They gradually dry and fall to the ground, releasing their seeds. However, sometimes they don’t leave the bush. They dry to a beautiful brown pod and eventually disintegrate. That’s just a waste of beauty to me, so I collect those somewhat rare pods that fail to fall to the ground and plate them with copper by means of electro-forming, leaving them as close as possible to their original color and preserving their exact original shape.
Once preserved, I turn them into a variety of home décor items, including sun catchers and wall art, working with frames, resin, forged copper work and other techniques to accent the natural beauty of the pods. I have to confess that, since the availability of the pods is limited, I find myself being somewhat stingy about putting them out there for sale. I’m working on that flaw… after all, my goal is to share the beauty of nature, not hoard it! The two framed pieces shown here are the first two of their kind that I’m putting out for sale. I am hoping to add to this collection very soon, with additional framed wall art, sun catchers and other home decor items.
In the meantime, these two new items can be found in Home Decor and Accessories on my site or by clicking on the images above.