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A Delicate Perfection
(via Zoom)

Cynthia Rutledge

June 22 Thu 9-3
August 24 Thu 9-3
Class Fee $180.00 plus supplies~ kit available


Skill Level: Intermediate/advanced
Technique: Peyote    

The history of the peony is well documented. These beautiful blooms have been cultivated for over 4,000 years! The earliest documentation is from China, who made the flower the official emblem of the country. The petals are edible and are used to sweeten desserts.

These beauties have over 40 species, from packed round balls of petals to open ruffling petals. Known for their medicinal properties, peonies traveled to Europe and Asia in the Middle Ages to adorn gardens, as well as, suppling the apothecaries with much needed materials used to treat headaches and asthma and to relieve the pain associated with childbirth.

Icelandic peonies are large, with very ruffled, fluffy looking petals and a distinctive center. These gems come in just about all colors except blue. The colors grade from a darker center to a light outer edge for most of them, but there are exceptions to the rule. Some are so dark as to be almost a black burgundy. All are stunning.

My inspiration came from a photograph of a hot house nursery in Iceland. A gal was holding the most glorious riot of peonies that I had ever seen. I knew from that moment that I had to create my version of this fragrant bloom.

A flat circular base has a button-style addition to the center. The center is then embellished to create the unique “carpel” or basically the reproductive area of the flower. Surrounding the carpel are the “anthers or stamens” which surround the center of the flower. Beyond the flower center, the petals are created separately using 2-drop peyote stitch with color gradation and a gathering and ruffling technique to create the inner and outer petals. The petals are attached to the circular base to support their weight.

The necklace braid has three different tubes, one herringbone, one a herringbone variation and one peyote tube. These tubes are then attached to the back of the flower, braided and end in a shaped pair of cones with a bar clasp.

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