The Spirit of Spring

Spring has arrived with a vengeance and I can hardly believe that a nearby footpath that was under feet of snow a month ago is now bright with bluebells and golden broom.

It can’t help but have an affect on one’s mood and so this month I have been busy making shamelessly pretty things. Actually, that is not quite true as I have also been making a giant, copper, carnivorous flower sculpture but that’s a story for another time.

A couple of years ago I made some little Hawthorn leaves out of copper. Hawthorn is a great tree, a real all rounder. Some trees are one-trick ponies; the Lilacs for example are looking amazing right now but who bothers to pay any attention to them the rest of the year? In contrast, the Hawthorn often grows into gnarled shapes that look good in winter, it’s wood is hard, the spring blossoms beautiful and the berries and leaves can be eaten.

There is a huge amount of folklore about Hawthorn from the UK, where it was thought to guard the entrances to fairy land, to Croatia where it was considered the ideal material for staking vampires. In the Victorian language of flowers it represented hope and today trials are going ahead to see if it can help with certain heart conditions and high blood pressure.

So, it is a very much underrated spring bloom and deserves its place next to the ever-popular cherry blossom.

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Hawthorn hair comb in copper with silver blossoms and pearl buds. By Erica Madelin

The blossoms are of course in sterling silver and the buds are fresh water pearls. I had wanted to hold out for some half drilled pearls of the kind used in earrings but they are weirdly expensive compared to fully drilled pearls. Being pleased with how the first one turned out, I went on to do an autumn Hawthorn hair comb to match.

 

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Hawthorn hair combs by Erica Madelin. Copper with sterling silver, freshwater pearls and coral.

On a roll, I then finished the day with a delicate pair of jellyfish earrings in sterling silver with tiny tourmaline beads.

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Jellyfish earrings in silver and tourmaline by Erica Madelin

Don’t you just love that rock!? It’s a chunk of lava from Mount Etna.

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