I thought it was time to officially introduce myself to everyone and share a bit more about myself and what it is that I do around here. I'm Erin, the one women show behind Wildflower Silver, located in Oregon within the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I was born and raised in the Midwest by an extremely talented and creative mother. I am forever grateful to have had her creative drive passed down onto me. Everything you see on this site and any accompanying social media is created entirely by myself with my own ideas and two hands. I live and breathe to create. Not a day goes by that I am not creating something, or planning to, or foraging for, or exploring the options of. My biggest passion in life is nature. Everything single thing that encompasses the natural world. From the moss and the trees, to birds and rocks and everything in between. I have more artistic interests than there is actual time to pursue each one. It's overwhelming, maddening and an absolute blast! I have a very creative and restless mind and a complete lack of interest in modern entertainment and expectations. I seek solitude, quiet and the freedom to flourish and create and provide for myself through simple means and self sustaining. I try to relate those feelings throughout my art and my photography.
I've been growing and changing creatively a lot throughout the years, as we all do. If you have followed me throughout my 6+ year journey of being publicly creative, you may have noticed the back and forth or the very long breaks in my online presence and shop updates. I am happy to say that I am finally at a point in my life now that I feel capable and confident to continuously move forward on the path that I have made for myself. And after moving to a new space this summer that allows me to create more freely with no constraints, I am excited to really take things up a notch and go big! And for those few that have been with me since the very beginning. Yes, this business name is it, the end, forever, it is set in stone I promise this time lol.
I tend to do very large shop updates each season, typically 4-6 times per year, rather than releasing work on a smaller scale more frequently. Closer to the holiday season, I may add in a couple smaller releases when I can. Each collection release features a variety of things I make in the previous months that are special to me for that particular season or are currently growing and thriving in nature. Cyanotype/Sun Print art is made during the sunny summer months, luminary candles and flower art is released in the fall, after a full spring/summer season of foraging. Jewelry is always the main focus of my shop updates. Occasionally you will find things in my shop that were just a one time thing, never to return and some of my products are only available certain times of the year. I also offer a handful of custom order spots after the holiday season at the beginning of each year.
Throughout my work, you will see that many of the tools I use to create with came straight from nature. Whether it be from a beach, creek, meadow, forest or even from within my own small garden of patio pots. My main concern is keeping nature as it was before I encountered it. Never taking more than I need and being respectful of the environment to do as little harm as possible, while keeping in mind the ways that I can give back and improve the areas I encounter (ie: picking up litter, removing superficial cairns, etc.)
It is very important to me to reuse and waste as little as possible, while trying to create more art in the process. An example: Flower pressing does require some paper waste. Rather than throwing it out into the recycle bin, where it may not actually get recycled, I instead take that paper waste, blend it down into a pulp and make my own paper to use again in my packaging. Much more on this subject in a future blog post..
Nature Inspired Jewelry
Metal-smithing is my absolute favorite craft. I love the messy, raw chaos of working with fire and metal to create beautiful things for others to wear and enjoy. For the most part, I work strictly with .999 fine/pure and .925 sterling silver in my jewelry. Occasionally I will use a bit of jewelers brass or gold fill to add a mixed media or natural gold look to a piece, while still keeping things affordable for you. I only use the highest quality materials from reputable sources to ensure you are getting a long lasting, quality made piece of jewelry. All of my jewelry is made by hand, each component created from scratch. I strive to give my pieces an organic, natural and sometimes rustic look. I prefer to add a patina to most of my silver. Nothing is "perfect" in nature and this is something I try to evoke in my jewelry. Most of my work features textures taken directly from nature (leaves, ferns, flowers, etc). I feel natural flaws only enhance a pieces uniqueness and hand made feel and reflect the honest and beautiful imperfections found in nature.
I use various methods to achieve my results. Soldering, fusing, silver casting, resin, pmc.. while recycling and repurposing this lovely precious metal as much as I possibly can. Many of my designs and textures are created from various plants I collect myself while out in nature. I love to make silicone molds from real plant life to later silver cast into a finished piece to use either on it's own or to compliment a stone or semi-precious gemstone. I have a soft spot for rare Dendritic Agates, as their plant-like inclusions remind me of so many things I love about nature. All of my semi-precious gemstones are sourced from responsible, verified dealers. I also collect many of the stones I use in my work myself from the local beaches, creeks and rivers and cut and cab them myself or with the help from other local lapidary artists who do the same.
Luminary/Hurricane Nature Candles
Aside from silver-smithing, candle-making is my next biggest creative passion. Mostly because of the materials I use within my candles and the strong connection to nature that is involved. And I just really love the versatility and process of working with wax! I've been making candles for over 15 years. When I lived in the midwest, my business was strictly candles I made for weddings, memorials or personalized gifts. While I am slowly getting back to offering these things again, my main interest is embedding foraged nature items into a reusable wax shell, a luminary candle. I currently keep everything as natural and clean as possible. I suffer from many allergies and sensitivities to chemicals and scents, so I also wouldn't want someone else to be unable to use my products because of these things. I do not use fragrance oils, additives or dyes and use only natural cotton wicks and palm wax for my tea lights.
I recently stumbled upon this medium in 2021. It has brought out so much joy and creativity within me and I am continuously growing and evolving my skills within this art form. My main focus is using natural plants to create prints on paper or fabric to display as wall art or to later sew by hand into usable and wearable pieces. I am just now starting to explore the world of creating cyanotype prints from my photography and am continuously expanding my sewing skills to make more beautiful Prussian blue clothing, accessories and home decor. Cyanotypes are made mostly during the summer months and are available towards the end of summer or shortly after.
Collecting and pressing wild flora is one of my absolute favorite ways to spend my time outdoors. Not only does it slow me down and connect me with plant life in a hands on way, but it also allows me to create an infinite amount of art from these special plants. For example, a single fern frond can be photographed, then used to create multiple cyanotype prints, then used to make a silicone mold for silver casting, and then finally be preserved in resin or displayed in a framed piece.
My pressed flora art includes hand picked/pressed and preserved natural local plants to display within framed glass displays or stained glass wall hangings. I preserve many plants and mushrooms in silica as well to use in my candles or in resin jewelry. I enjoy creating these fleeting scenes for others to enjoy, and to experience the abundant plant life specific to the Pacific Northwest. I also offer varieties of locally pressed flora packs for others to create with on their own, whether it be for scrap-booking, wedding invitations, in their own work or just for the sake of collecting them as is.
Photography is a very personal and special thing to me. It opens my mind while calming my soul and bonds me with nature and light in a way that nothing else can. It has opened up so many memorable adventures for me that I will remember for the rest of my life. Trees are my main focus photographically. I love trees. I feel like I see them in a way that others don't. Their shapes, branches, colors and the way the light interacts with them makes them take on human characteristics in my eyes, where I see them as a personality or a feeling. Flamboyant, somber, dancing, suffering. I frequently rephotograph the same trees in different seasons. And just like us people do, their outfits change, their mood changes and what they want to show you about themselves changes each season... ok maybe that makes me sound like a weirdo, but that's me :)
I used to publicly share all of my photography across many social media platforms. While there were many positives like meeting new people, sharing experiences and seeing other artists beautiful photos, it also opened my eyes to a very toxic side in the photography community that hindered my creativity and just wasn't for me. I completely detached myself from that community and am happier than ever now with my photography. It was in a way, a blessing. My photography is now like a special secret to me, and I cherish it now more than ever. So I share some of my photography here and rarely on social media anymore. I do sell prints occasionally but for the most part I keep 99% of my photography journey to myself these days.