The Fern Case...
Older than Dinosaurs, early fern fossils record their existence 360 million years ago. Ferns thrived for over two hundred million years before flowering plants evolved, so it's little wonder that there are over 12,000 species in this vast botanical group.
Ferns can be found in remote mountain elevations, dry desert rock faces, near bodies of water or in open fields. Habitats include moist and shady forests, dry rock face crevices, wetlands like bogs, swamps and marshes, and even trees.
The scrolled fronds of a young fern are called 'fiddleheads' which unfurl into a new fern leaf that is feather-like, delicate and divided.
This brings me to the 'Natural Inspiration' portion of this story...
Ferns are the original classic! The history, strength and determination of the fern is unimaginable to those of us that have inhabited the Earth for such a short time.
Much symbolism is associated with the fern such as magic, fascination, confidence, shelter, sincerity, discretion, reverie, a secret bond of love, health, luck, protection and riches. The wearing of ferns is even thought to guide you into discovering secret treasures!
In Design and Fashion the fern motif is widely used since it possesses a simple, flowing, easy way about it that is beautiful, strong and confident. A juxtaposition between simple, classic and elegant to funky, modern and wild. I think we all have a little fern in us... don't you?
The vast use of the fern motif in the Victorian Decorative Arts was referred to as Pteridomania or "Fern-Fever". The fern was found in great abundance on printed paper, textiles, wood, pottery, glass, metal, sculpture and even gravestones!
The main period of popularity of ferns as a decorative motif extended from the 1850s through to the 1890s, but the interest in ferns really began in the late 1830s when the British countryside attracted increasing numbers of amateur and professional botanists. Interestingly, the hobby of collecting ferns brought different social classes together that otherwise would not have much in common.
Fern motifs first unfurled at the 1862 International Exhibition and remained popular as a symbol of 'pleasurable pursuits' until the turn of the century.
Since ferns are flat they were used for decoration in ways that most other plants couldn't be. They were glued into collectors' albums, affixed to three dimensional objects, used as stencils and inked and pressed onto many various surfaces.
Although realistic depictions of ferns were favoured, when the representation was stylized through engraving into glass or metal, the effects were still recognizably fern-like and therefore an acceptable fashion.
This video shows me free-hand engraving ferns onto a stainless steel Credit Card Case.
When I engrave ferns onto a pair of earrings, pendant or card case I am always impressed at how the flat steel seems to 'come to life'. The fern design catches the light and shines with movement like no other design theme that we do. The fern is a subtle, infinitely powerful icon and I am proud of our funky, fashionable fern designs.
Fern Earrings, a Fern Pendant and a Fern Credit Card Case by THE RAVE 'N' IRON.
My hope is that when you put on my One of a Kind, hand-engraved, Designer Fern Jewelry - whether it be a sweet pair of earrings or a bold, beautiful pendant — that you, too, can feel the ancient magic of the fern and discover its superb secret treasures...