dandelion clocks

We’ve decided to leave more areas of uncut grass in the garden this year, to encourage wild plants and flowers, and provide a food source for pollinating insects. We’re already seeing a wide range of species, including clover, speedwell, buttercups, herb robert, and, as you can see in the photo, dandelions.

20150505-132017The flowers are rather bright and brash, but I think the seed heads are things of beauty; delicate, fragile and ethereal.

When I was a child, we used to blow the individual seeds from the seed head (to the dismay of local gardeners, no doubt), and you were supposed to be able to tell the time from how many puffs it took. Hence dandelion clocks. I’ve only recently become aware of the idea of blowing the seeds and making a wish. I don’t know whether that’s a piece of modern folklore, or maybe just something that wasn’t local to where I grew up.

The intricacy of dandelion seed heads is something that is very difficult to capture in metal, so when I decided to use them as the basis of a new design, I knew I’d have to suggest the texture in an abstract way.

I settled on using circles of silver, and adding texture with the edge of a hammer. These were soldered to a silver background, and the line of a stalk was impressed. The whole piece was oxidised, and then polished. As I hoped, this left the oxidisation in the impressions, emphasising the hammer marks on the seed heads, and the stalk.

Here are the finished pieces. The pendant features three dandelion clocks, whilst the earrings have one each. They have a mellow patina from the oxidisation, rather than a bright shiny finish, which gives them a slightly vintage feel. Both piece are available from my online shop, together with a smaller pendant in the same style, which features a lotus flower seed pod.

5 thoughts on “dandelion clocks

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Wow, what a brilliant way to translate dandelions to metal. As you say, that’s quite a challenge, and you’ve done it so well here!
    I never heard about that you could tell the time, that’s a new one for me! I remember we used to blow the dandelion seeds too, but as I recall, it was most for the fun to see them fly away. Where I come from (Sweden) we have an expression, “dandelion child” and that means a child that grows up well despite very harsh circumstances, someone who can survive “wherever”. Your pieces reflect that kind of “strongness” too.

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