A Glass Prairie
The tradition of beaded flowers dates back 500 years. Originally fashioned by Italian peasants from beads considered flawed and rejected, elegant arrangements of flowers were fashioned for the graveside. The craft became popular during the Victorian period with the first publication on the subject. Soon every fashionable home had to have a beaded floral arrangement.
As with every medium, its popularity has ebbed and waned, but memorial arrangements have remained a constant, particularly in France. Unlike live flowers or silk flowers, beaded flowers do not fade. They delight the eye as they twinkle in the sunlight. They honor those we mourn.
A Glass Prairie is filled with flowers and grasses rarely seen in today’s world, but which are critical to the well being of our fragile ecosystem. Each stalk is placed in a glass beaker, representing man’s intervention, for good and bad, into our landscape. As I slide each bead into place, I offer a prayer for the prairie’s ongoing future and solidify my commitment to its wellbeing.