It’s still a bit early in the year for poppies really, but we ordered our Higgledy Garden flower seeds last week, ready for sowing later this month, and we included some poppy seeds this year.
In the UK, poppies have been associated with remembrance since the end of the First World War, but they have a much older history. The poppy is the symbol of Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep, from whom we get the word morphine. In the language of flowers, poppies represent the imagination, whilst the different colours each have their own meaning. Red, for instance, is pleasure. They are also the birth flower for the month of August.
I love the big, bold flowers of poppies, so it wasn’t a huge leap from choosing the seeds and thinking about where we’ll plant them, to wanting to make some in silver.
The challenge is to get a very solid piece of metal to resemble the soft, delicate petals of the flower. I used fairly thin sheet silver, and hammered the poppy shapes from the centre outwards, to give them a tissue-papery texture. I soldered little balls of silver in the centres, and surrounded these with tiny pierced-out holes. If you look closely at the centre of a poppy, they have a sort of ‘button’ which eventually becomes the seed pod, surrounded by tiny black tufts, which I assume are the stamen.
After a bit of experimenting, I did come up with a design that I was happy with. I’ve made three pieces featuring my new poppy flowers so far – some drop earrings, a bracelet, and a lariat-style necklace. They’re all individual pieces, but they’d also work really well as a matched set.
They’re all available to buy via my online shop.