Prairie Grass and Wildflower Jewelry by Gayle Dowell
Inspiration for my Jewelry, the Flint Hills Prairies of Kansas
I grew up in Oklahoma. I've lived in Kansas now for 19 years. The Kansas prairie is my backyard. I can wake every morning and take a walk across the prairie and find new grasses and wildflowers awakening to a new day. I go out throughout the year during the different seasons and see the transformation that takes place on the prairie. Time is lapsing, and I feel a sense of urgency to capture these fleeting moments and plant life in my jewelry creations. This urgency gave way to the creation of a new line of jewelry, Kansas Prairie Grass and Wild Flower Jewelry by Gayle Dowell. Come and walk with me across the prairie and see for yourself the beauty of nature.
All photos taken by Gayle Dowell
See more of my jewelry at Gayle Dowell - Prairie Jeweler.
Butterfly Milkweed on the Kansas Prairie
When I look across the prairie in early June, it is as if the sun has come down and kissed the earth. I can see spots of bright orange contrasting with the green of the grasses. Butterflies and other insects are attracted to this neon orange color of the Butterfly Milkweed, and the air is abuzz with the sounds of busy insects. This has to be one of my favorite of the prairie wildflowers of Kansas and one that makes a wonderful jewelry pendant.
Butterfly Milkweed Jewelry
Kansas Prairie Grasses and Wildflower Field Guide
A good field guide is a great companion to a walk and study of plants on the prairie. There are so many grasses and flowers that it is hard to keep them all straight, but with enough time and a great field guide, it can be an enjoyable journey of learning.
This is a great resource that has clear photos of each of the grasses and flowers found in Kansas. Information on each grass and flower is detailed with each photo.
Many may consider the Fetid Marigold a weed as these flowers grow in disturbed soils of the prairie. Although not much to look at, they do add a unique sense of beauty as I walk across these flowers and they give off a strong marigold smell. I love these flowers for the unique texture they give to my jewelry creations.
Fetid Marigold Jewelry
When I go out on a hike, I'm always looking for plants that have great texture to use in my jewelry designs. I came across this Riverbank Grape on the Konza Prairie in May. It has wonderful texture right before the flowers bloom.
Riverbank Grape Jewelry - Handmade by Gayle DowellClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hiding in the thicket of a wooded area on our property, American Germander grows strong and upright reaching toward the hot Kansas sun. Small delicate flowers growing in clusters along a thick heavy stem, these made beautiful impressions in metal.
American Germander Jewelry
Yellow Sweet Clover
Abundant around our home this past year, Yellow Sweet Clover covers areas of earth in a blanket of pastel yellow. I captured the buds of this plant in metal before it flowered in June, making beautifully textured pieces.
Yellow Sweet Clover Jewelry
The clasping coneflower has to be one of my favorite of the prairie flowers. Their petals droop to their sides as if straining upward to reach the sun. Full of beautiful yellow, oranges and reds, they give a flash of color in late spring to late summer.
Clasping Coneflower Bracelet
These asters were photographed in September right before blooming on the prairies of Kansas. Asters come in many varieties and many different colors.