Working with Queen Anne’s Lace


Queen Anne’s Lace is one of my favorite wild flowers, and I often use it in my botanical pottery pieces. In Vermont, where the growing season is short, the Queen Anne’s Lace is starting to go to seed.  Though there has been plenty of time to work with this plant, my summer was quite full running Clay Play Camp and doing a myriad of other things, so I am feeling squeezed to make the Queen Anne’s pieces that I had hoped to make before their season ends.


Just as its name suggests, this plant is both delicate and regal.  Like a queen, it has a certain strength.  It doesn’t blow over in the wind, or bend with heavy rains, and its white flowers stay proud and white before curling up to a strong boney frame that lasts through the winter months, poking out of the snow so you can remember the warmer days behind you and those yet to come.  In the summer it grows in fields and on roadsides, volunteering itself with ease.  Yet, when you go to pick it, it doesn’t break free from where it has rooted itself very easily.  I must remember to collect it with clippers in tow and a bucket of water to place the picked flowers in.  For if the Queen Anne’s Lace is without water, it quickly shrivels up into a wilted mop, and its white petals become dust.

In Victorian times, flowers and plants were assigned meanings, and remembering this symbolism in modern day is still popular.  I enjoy thinking about these meanings when I work with a particular plant.  In the secret language of flowers, Queen Anne’s Lace is a symbol of femininity and represents perseverance in love.  It is a prolific plant which spreads its seeds in the wind and is even considered an invasive plant in some states. Originally a native plant of Europe, Queen Anne’s Lace was popular in the during the reign of Queen Anne. It is also known as Wild Carrot because it is related to the carrot, but it is actually in the parsley family!img_0268

Queen Anne’s Lace has medicinal uses.  The seeds have been used to help clear out urinary stones, and the roots which are like carrots, have been used as antacids.  A poultice of roots can be used to relieve itchy skin.

Invasive or not, I love the wispy appearance of this plant despite its true tenacity.

To see my Facebook Album, “A Step-by-Step Process of Working With Queen Anne’s Lace”, click on the following link. Botanical Wall Hanging: From Field to Firing





Racing Against Time

Every morning the day seems so expansive with so much time ahead to do everything. Then the hours slip away and into days and even months. Where does the time go in a full life?

We all know how time can tick on ever so slowly when we have to do something that we don’t want to do. But when there is so much we want to do, there is never enough time to get to everything. For me, every day is kind of like that, because I enjoy doing so many things. I am organized and efficient, and even when I am relaxing, I am usually doing something. I can almost always reflect back on my day and recognize my accomplishments. I took a walk, I cleaned, I cooked, I went to work, I paid the bills, I gardened, I connected with a friend, I talked to my mom, and generally I have
crossed off a whole lot from my to do list of personal goals. Yet often when the day ends, there are certain things that I just don’t manage to get to even though it has been on my list for months. Writing on this blog is my best example of this. I have wanted to write, and I have written many blog posts in my head as I have been walking the dog or doing other things, but then I never find the time to take my thoughts out of my head and put them here. So today and from now on I am going to change that. Writing hopefully will become like brushing my teeth. I don’t even have to put it on a list to find the time.

This is the time of year that I am racing against the cycle of the growing season coming to an end. I use fresh plants to create my botanical ceramic pieces, and the plants are starting to die. A killing frost is in the forecast for this upcoming weekend. All during the growing season I collect plants from my gardens and from the woods and store them in buckets in my studio. Right now, the studio is filled with buckets of all kinds of ferns, herbs, and woodland plants that I collected this past weekend on the Appalacian Trail in the White Mountains. In time the plants in the buckets will die too. And so, I am racing against time that is often beyond my control. And it is all good.

Plants waiting for their turn to be pressed into clay.
Plants waiting for their turn to be pressed into clay.