My elfin alchemy flower design story

I didn’t have an inkling when I started on my creative journey with this flower design about its symbolism or history and was quite amazed when I discovered its link to witchcraft in medieval times.

Anyway, I’ll share with you first in this blog post how my flower journey began.

In 2006 whilst studying silversmithing part-time at college I came across the picture of the 6-petal wirework flower in a bracelet design whilst looking through an American jewellery book.

I’m not sure why I was drawn to this particular flower shape, perhaps it was due to its simple symmetry. 

my flower design inspiration for my jig wire work project whilst studying at college in 2006
My flower design inspiration

Or maybe there was something drawing me on this path?

The story would have ended there though, had it not been for my neighbouring student, Alan a retired engineer, who said I could make a jig to create a similar flower pattern, and that he’d help me.

I’d discovered a jig pegboard in the classroom cupboard and had been teaching myself how to use it, as whenever I was stuck and waiting for some teacher guidance with my silversmithing I’d spend the time experimenting with wire and developing my skills. This basic plastic jig had holes in it to create repeat patterns using wire, but the holes weren’t in the right places to make the flower pattern.

The next time I saw him, Alan had brought me a piece of wood and some nails and with his help, I used a compass to draw a small circle in the wood, mark out 6 points, and hammer nails into them, before sawing off the top of the nails and filing them flat.  This first attempt didn’t work properly, as the nails were too thin, so I did it all again with thicker nails, and thankfully this time I was able to create a decent flower pattern with my homemade wooden jig.

I adapted the shape of the flower from the original one in the book that had been my inspiration, to make all the petals as similar as possible, and turned my flowers into jewellery for one of the silversmithing course projects.

the 6-petal flower design I created for my jewellery making college project in 2006
my flower jewellery design for the college project

The flower design journey doesn’t quite end there… as whilst developing my jewellery-making skills, knowledge, and qualifications for 5 years of silversmithing part-time at college, I was also studying to be a teacher. Quite by surprise, 2 years into my teaching journey I was given the opportunity to teach my hobby of jewellery making, fast forward a few years, and whilst teaching jig designs at an intermediate wire skills class, one of my students added the middle section to the flower but didn’t know how she’d done it. So, I taught myself and then the class this new variation.

This is the flower design I still create today, with its central wrap, as it helps to keep the wire shape more secure when worn as a piece of jewellery.  I make them in healing copper wire in a range of bewitching beautiful colours, from golden yellow to pretty pink and purple shades, combined with sterling silver ear hooks. Take a look at my current collection of elfin alchemy flower earrings.

creating my elfin alchemy flower design using my homemade jig and wire
creating my elfin alchemy flower design using my homemade jig

They’re quite special don’t you agree?

I kind of feel I was meant to create this 6-petal flower design and learn more about its history and magical symbolism, which I’ll share with you in my next blog post.

There is magic all around us…

Thanks for joining me on my creative journey, wishing you sparkles of light. Sam Rowena, elfin alchemy, Lancashire jewellery artist