Flower-lover and jewellery designer-maker Helen Lack makes exquisite jewellery from flower she grows herself. Using resin to encapsulate florals and botanical elements. Helen’s piece ensure their beauty is captured forever. Wildflower spoke to Helen about how her love of flowers and nature inspires her work…

 

My passion for jewellery came from my grandmother. She was extremely well travelled and would regularly bring her granddaughters an item of jewellery back from her travels.  She also had the most incredible collection of her own jewellery, which she would match to her outfits – she always looked fabulous.

I’ve been creating things from a young age.  Following my degree in Art and Design, I got a ‘proper job’ for a while, but my passion for creativity continued, and in crept another passion – flowers.  We moved to a cottage on the edge of the New Forest when the children were small, with the most amazing garden where I established lots of beautiful cottage garden flowers.  I wanted to be able to preserve their beauty and display them in some way, so I bought a flower press and started to make my first pieces of jewellery.

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I make unique pieces of jewellery, each containing real flowers and botanical elements.  This is all on a tiny scale however, and I can’t resist picking and pressing the beautiful larger flowers too, which I display in frames and make into wall hangings. I also sell pressed flower giclee prints taken from original artworks made with my pressed flowers and leaves.   I grow the flowers organically in my cottage garden and have an ever-growing collection of flower presses.

My love of flowers and plants has entirely influenced my designs. For me, the two things go hand in hand. In fact, the designs have influenced the plants I grow. My garden is stocked with a wide variety of the tiniest flowers, something I had never really considered before but the tinier the better for jewellery making.  For jewellery, my absolute favourites are heuchera flowers, and I also love hellebores – their velvety beauty gets me really excited for all the pretty things to come. Garden flowers, wildflowers, or foraged plants – all have a place in my designs.

There’s something particularly special about creating a beautiful garden.  Choosing plants and seeds is a bit like going to going to a sweet shop for me, and deciding what to put where, feels just like creating a painting or work of art.  When you get a plant combination right it’s just the most satisfying thing.  And being able to step out of the door and gather my stock is pretty handy too. The garden definitely is my happy place!

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I live in a conservation area which means I’m always surrounded by all types of nature and wildlife.  I go for a daily walk either in the countryside or woodland, and I find this inspires me to create, as well as being a great mood booster. There is no question that being amongst nature is essential for our mental wellbeing.

For me, a love of nature goes hand in hand with a love for the beautiful planet we live on, and a desire to protect it.  I try very hard to keep the impact of my business as minimal as possible on the environment.  All the flowers for my jewellery I grow organically so they have no carbon footprint, and no nasty chemicals are used.  I also grow way more than I could ever pick which means my garden has become a real haven for wildlife. I also use 100% recycled jewellery boxes and packaging, eco-friendly mixing cups and stirrers, and lots of little things in between.

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Time to relax is sparse. I’ve been busy making a new range of wooden serving trays and platters, inlaid with my pressed flowers, and I have a new range of sterling silver rings and homeware items launching too. I can’t believe how lucky I am to make a living this way.

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Helen’s pieces can be fully personalised. New items for Spring include Snowdrops and Narcissi Tete-a-Tete. To commission or buy a piece from Helen, you can contact her:

info@silverandbirch.com

@silverandbirch