|Enamel earrings inspired by the color of Bradford Pear leaves.|
In “Colorful Colorado” nature imposes herself on our senses throughout the year. We are blessed with a kaleidoscope of continuous change and vitality. We watch nearly in awe as our mountains and our prairie transition from season to season, from arid to lush, lifeless to effervescent, in an endless story of birth and resurrection. But for those of us lucky enough to possess one in our yard, of all of nature’s showpieces and specimens, none surpasses the majestic Bradford Pear in her display of colors and natural hues.
In the spring our Bradford Pear explodes into a massive tuft of cotton candy, urgently demanding our attention before an errant breeze can scatter her blossoms across the lawn like driven snow. Summer’s warmth brings forth her foliage, so dense that it conceals the space it occupies, affording a canopy of shade to the lawn, nesting spaces for birds, and refuge for squirrels. When fall arrives, the pear expends the energy that she has hoarded throughout the summer. It is as if her leaves attempt to re-bloom, as she becomes a palette for a thousand shades of yellow, burning into orange, then crimson, then copper. Then finally, exhausted and spent, her leaves take flight with the first winter blast, to reveal the silhouette of her limbs in a pointillist sea of tiny sugar pears that remain to sustain her resident birds and squirrels throughout the winter.
The Bradford Pear leaves us not only with memories of her grandeur, but also with artistic inspiration. If only to capture one single moment of her glorious transition - into jewelry! I waited breathlessly for the radiance of the kiln to subside, and for the glow of the enamel to “fit” itself into its final glaze, to know if I had been able to replicate that instant when she “bloomed” her final golden farewell to this season.