Seasonally, upon the volcano mountain slopes of the Big Island of Hawaii we carefully select, pick, and preserve perfect miniature flowers. Each separate flower is sorted by color, size, texture, and shape with meticulous skill and patience. Wearing face masks to prevent their breath from blowing away the materials, those who sort these flowers do not dare sneeze! Piece by piece, our flowers are selected to create these beautiful designs.
Their petal colors compliment or contrast suitable background colors. Because the flowers are all real, no two are exactly the same – yours is unique to you. A particular aspect of our work is that Peter Honeyman himself creates every piece of our pressed flower styles, the majority of which are from a combination of several flowers in different colors.
My pressed flower styles are each created from layering miniature real flowers in different colors, shapes and sizes, sometimes even deliberately distorting them for effect. This is in marked contrast to many other wonderful pressed flower items made elsewhere, but which, with respect, are almost always made with one flower plonked into its setting as if a botanical specimen, and not combined with other flowers as an art rendering. Ours, as far as we have been able to ascertain, are the only styles which have that added creative element – almost as in painting miniatures with wonderful colors, except that our colors are the actual flowers. They are truly distinctly different.
Our processes exclude all air inside our jewelry through the use of special jewelers’ resins. This ensures no oxidation whereby the flowers would otherwise risk turning brown. Our flowers do not lose or change their color, though with time they may develop a patina or antiqued look which many claim enhances the appearance and the value of our styles.
Each purchase comes with a simple explanation (legend card) of the flowers, to make it more interesting as a gift. All our flowers are naturalized Hawaiian; not endangered, not endemic. The traditional Hawaiian flowers used for medicines or food, ceremonially, or in leis (especially some of the endemic varieties) are simply too large for our purpose or not colorful. The flowers we do use are all very small, colorful, and grow at low elevations in and around Hilo, Hawaii.
These plants inhabit roadsides and disturbed areas, and flower almost year round. Some are considered weeds, but they are very pretty weeds. However that legend card does not identify the individual flowers in the actual purchase it accompanies, as that would vary with each piece.
Blue Rat’s Tail (Hawaiian: ōwī, oī)
Special Note: Blue Rat’s Tail has a local anesthetic effect. Squeezing the petals together into a pellet & pressing it against teeth or gums relieves toothache or mouth sores. Its unusual name derives from having a long stalk, square in cross section, down which are a series of unattractive little bumps on each of the four sides from which the flowers later open, which is its “tail”.
Root Beer Plant
Special Note: Paniculata’s roots have a pleasant smell that is remarkably similar to the taste of the canned drink Root Beer. (In Samoa it is known as the Bubble Gum plant for similar reasons). However, root beer stems from Sassafras, a plant from the Gulf states of Mainland US, which bears no relation to Polygala paniculata. The similarity of smell and taste is completely coincidental.
Tick Trefoil (Hawaiian Clover)
Special Note: Tick Trefoil is a member of the pea family and is notable for being highly nutritious to grazing animals and able to create its own nitrogen without fertilizers. In Hawaii, it grows very low and spreads widely as a ground cover. It is identifiable by its pretty, miniature flowers with very fine hairs which grow around the edges & create the illusion that color is bleeding from the petals.