Exquisite jewelry made with living plants keeps growing

Susan McLeary
© Susan McLeary

Plants are amazing organisms: they can heal you, feed you, give deeper meaning and are often gorgeous to look at.

In a fusion of gardening and jewelry design, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based designer Susan McLeary of Passionflower brings out the best in flowers and plants by creating pieces of living jewelry that continue to grow as you wear them. From necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and even tiaras, McLeary creates each piece by hand, using locally sourced plants from family-owned greenhouses, placing them on jewelry bases found via local, small businesses.

Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary

Having studied and worked with some of the best florists in the country, McLeary recounts how she got into making these adorable accessories:

Before I was a florist, I made jewelry for friends. When one such friend got married, she asked me to design her wedding flowers in addition to her jewelry. As I had her flowers in my hands, I knew I’d found my medium. One wedding turned into many more, and before I knew it I was working as an event florist. I still adore designing for weddings, but have found that I enjoy creating floral wearables and (not surprisingly) floral jewelry even more.

McLeary uses tiny succulents quite often in her baubles, as they are low-maintenance, and hardier than other plants. When arranged in compositions that highlight their naturally beautiful forms, they look quite stunning too.

Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary

She also uses regular flowers, creating elegant pieces that go well with wedding wear.

Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary

McLeary's pieces are intended for wear during special occasions, and aren't meant to last forever. But they can be replanted in soil for a longer life.

Susan McLeary© Susan McLeary

Exquisite and refined, these living plant-based jewelry pieces are made to impart a striking statement. You can find McLeary's work via Facebook, purchase on Etsy (ranging from $20 and up), and on her website, Passionflower.

[via: Refinery29]

Tags: Gardening | Jewelry | Michigan | Weddings

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