Follow by Email

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Poke Salad Berries

A few days ago, I walked in to the Hot Times glass retreat in Ashville, NC bearing this vibrant little plant sprig that I had found growing on a large bush wild, by the side of the road.  Being among a slew of Southern women, I knew someone could identify it for me.

It took maybe a minute or two.  The fuschia branch and spring green pods are a young version of the Poke Berry plant and I was immediately warned about the poisonous berries.  And that folks for generations have made poke salad from the greens. (My sources mentioned that they didn't care for the bitter taste either.)

I had limited glass colors with me, but wanted to try to capture this cute little plant.  I got out my EDP and made a thin bead on my 1/16th mandrel.  Of course it started denitrifying, so I took the chance of striping it with some Rubino and switched to an oxygenated flame to try to keep the color.  I had made a small striped encased cane and cute it into small murrine.  It was kind of like making barnacles in different colors.  I used pea green as a base with dark blue thin stripes.  I cased that with a transparent medium blue to tone down the green.  I didn't get it exactly, but close for a first try.  I love trying to match colors.  It reminds me of my days painting watercolors.

So after the stalk was made, I added tall dots and the gently heated murrina on each.  Once it set, then I would reheat from below the flame and then poke the center to bring the stripes up.  I didn't bring a poke tool, so I used my 1/16th mandrel end.  The results weren't as precise as if I had used a sharper point.

Well, I ran out of time, so the branch wasn't finished, but it still enjoyed is quick glass adventure to capture the moment.  My sprig is fading, but I will have my glass memory.