This piece was part of the Embodiment exhibit at Pittsburgh Glass Center in 2017. Each autumn, Monarch butterflies throughout the US migrate south, often traveling 3000 miles or more to reach overwintering sites on Oyamel Fir trees in central Mexico or on Eucalyptus trees in coastal California. While most adult Monarch butterflies typically only live a few weeks during the spring and summer, those that make the trip south live much longer, surviving through the winter and start then migrating northward the following spring. Once at their overwintering sites, Monarchs cluster in tight groupings, hanging on tree branches for protection from weather and predators as well as to maintain the cooler temperatures needed to preserve energy stores. This intricate and spectacular biology is crucial to the successful migration of these butterflies.
Butterflies are often a symbol of the ephemeral, but in this necklace, I evoke the imagery of overwintering Monarchs to visually represent resilience, persistence and collective power. The numerous wings mimic butterflies clustered on a branch, creating a striking reminder of natural beauty and strength for the wearer. While a single glass wing is seemingly fragile and delicate, the grouping is quite durable. The necklace in fact becomes an embodiment of the inherent strength of the collective.
The necklace has 35 flameworked borosilicate Monarch wings, assembled into a necklace using macrame, a borosilicate clasp, along with Czech glass, onyx and spinel beads.
The necklace measures approx 18."
Ships free within the US via Priority Mail, and comes in a beautiful lacquered wood box.