Inventory Luminaries 2016

More on the love of plants…and other ways to bring their beauty into your life and home.

As those of you who have been exposed to my work over the years know, I have a penchant for making intricate, paper cut, luminaries. They are inspired by my studies and/or love of the natural world. I make them seasonally, in small batches because I am fastidious about design and it takes a lot of time to get them just so. Some time in the past couple of months I became obsessed with the idea of making a series of luminaries that showcase the exquisite beauty of ferns. I love fern leaves and was excited to see the light shine through those gorgeous patterns.

The dilemma is, or was 😉, that paper cutting fern leaves would be a tedious, to put it mildly, not joyful, endeavor. Even the possibility of making a template and then painting the individual luminaries felt too cumbersome.

And then, ta da, as always it was my time in nature that captured my attention with a perfectly lovely solution. In retrospect this solution seems painfully obvious (I swear, we could probably come up with the path to world peace if we simply spent more time outside).

I decided I would respectfully gather, press, and use actual fern leaves for this project. It didn’t require any fancy knowledge or equipment, just good manners and common sense. I waited for a dry, sunny, day, (always important when gathering any plant matter you intend to dry) and had a courteous conversation with the plentiful bracken ferns I was about to gather.

I told them how lovely they were and how I was going to make beautiful things with them and how so many people would have a chance to appreciate their beauty. I also reminded them that, since they were herbaceous perennials, the leaves I was gathering this season, would be back in full force next season. As if they needed reminding.

In accordance with what I have learned from my many herb mothers over the decades, I said my pleases and thank yous, gathered only as many leaves as would leave no obvious mark, and then pressed them in between the pages of my art pad, and placed a good stack of books on top to weigh it down to get a proper specimen.

Voila…summer beauty we can enjoy throughout the year!

c ShuNahSii Rose 2016