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How do we make acorn pendants?

Joanne Hedger how we make pendants by hand - jewellery making

Pendant Mold Production

First we make the molds – which we do from actual acorns collected from our woodland in Sussex. Each mold is typically good for making 10-15 pendants, after which time it develops small defects and so a new one must be made.

Once we have a set of molds ready, we can select the plant material to be used. Many materials are only available at set times of the year – the birch leaves for example can only be harvested during a 3 or 4 day window in mid spring. Too early and they are too small, too late and the leaves are too large. So they are harvested quickly, and carefully placed inside a flower press to dry out.

Harvesting Plant Materials

The lichen we use (Usnea) is collected during the winter months, typically we go out to the woodland after heavy winds, when the woodland floor will be littered with clumps blown down from high branches. Again we must be quick, as the local wildlife just love munching on the fallen lichen for its medicinal properties. We never harvest lichen from the trees themselves as it is so slow-growing and performs a vital role within the eco-system.

Pouring the Pendants

Once clean and dry, the plant materials are arranged inside the molds and we fill them with a plant-based resin which takes a couple of days to properly set.

Then comes the nervous task of extracting the resin “acorns” from their molds and seeing how they turned out. Many will be rejected at this stage, simply because the contents can sometimes move around in the resin, or unsightly air bubbles may have become trapped during the setting process.

The acorns that pass quality will then be matched with a tightly fitting cap from the Northern Red Oak. Another task requiring time and patience as every acorn cap is a unique size and shape.

A small eye hook is screwed into the cap and the pendant is then threaded onto a waxed cotton cord with either a double knot arrangement or a small wooden bead to provide a means to adjust the length.

Packaging

Each pendant is carefully packed in fairly plain but bio-degradable packaging, ethically sourced and often recycled. Wood wool recovered from festive hampers forms a nest inside the cardboard tub protecting each pendant as it journeys to your doorstep.

click here to visit our jewellery page and choose your next nature-inspired gift!

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