365 Days of Earrings

Monday, October 10, 2011

Electroplated Leaves

I wore my electroplated leaves today, hoping I'd find a way for my students to visit their adopted trees today, before rain washes away too many more leaves. It didn't happen. But I wore these amazing leaves all day.

I saw the family of artists who create this remarkable jewelry at the Waterford Fair on Saturday. The family of Don and Edith Ann Ray create beautiful jewelry together!

Three generations, working together, conversing knowledgeably and enthusiastically with each potential customer. I listened as Edith Ann repeatedly described the process, each time sounding fresh and glad to share.

I bought my ginkgos and maple leaf many years ago--I think at two other craft shows--the National Cathedral Flower Mart? A Sugarloaf Festival?

This jewelry is created by electroplating the natural items, the leaves, pinecones, even cicada skins! I was startled that this process is an 18th or 19th century craft: 1877. But it had to be, to qualify for participation in the Waterford Fair. Sure enough, when I googled "electroplating leaves" I found myself at the website of Caswell electroplating kits:
Hmm. I may have to try this. All I'd have to buy, in addition to the kit, is a little battery acid... Good thing I'm not teaching middle school science anymore. I'd be tempted!

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