Oh, Honey Honey

Amanda Slaughter creates handmade jewelry using preserved flowers, leaves and honeybees. 

Bluefield native Amanda Slaughter has always felt at home in nature.  

“I’m constantly outside searching for acorns, moss, flowers,” says Slaughter, 31. “My sister and I were both wild. We had a group of friends in our neighborhood and we were always roaming in the woods. We had very active imaginations.”

In 2014, Slaughter began channeling that curious and creative energy into BloomSpoons, her handmade jewelry business featuring pieces made with preserved flowers, leaves and even honeybees.

“My mother and grandmother always pressed flowers and I loved looking through old books, finding roses and ferns,” she says, adding that as beautiful as the pressed plants were, they always browned and lost their color over the years. “That’s kind of what got me started. I was searching around for a way to preserve flowers for longer.”

Slaughter attaches delicate blooms like daisies and buttercups to antique silver spoons with layers of clear resin, which preserve the shape and color of the flowers (she then adds a chain to make a necklace). Slaughter also makes earrings and necklaces featuring other bright, vibrant plants suspended inside transparent orbs.

The Keeper of the Bees Necklace was inspired by friends who keep honey bees: If she could turn flowers and leaves into beautiful keepsakes, she thought, why not bees?

“I put the idea out on Facebook, saying, ‘Hey friends, if any of you have any bees that passed away naturally, if you collect them for me I want to try something,’” she says.

Each Keeper of the Bees necklace features one dried, preserved honey bee—wings, legs and all—along with a small collection of flowers in a quarter-sized hexagon of clear resin, attached to an 18-inch gold chain. Slaughter donates 10 percent of the revenue from every Keeper of the Bees necklace she sells to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, a research and education foundation dedicated to the conservation and protection of honey bees for environmental and agricultural stability.

“When my husband’s friend’s hive had a massive die-off, I knew those bees weren’t able to live their lives and do the job they needed to do,” says Slaughter, “so I needed to give a purpose back to them.” $42. BloomSpoons.Etsy.com 

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