Asclepias syriaca (a single flower)

Jessica Mohl


Crawfordsville, IN, United States

10" x 12" x 8"

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Photo credit: Jessica Mohl

Once thought of a weed by the wayside, the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is now recognized as a vital link in our increasingly fragile ecosystem. Entire species depend on this humble yet beautiful plant. Its decline due to current wide-scale herbicides threatens not only its population, but also renders monarch butterflies endangered.
Inside the vessel, a string of pearls symbolize the milky sap of the plant and are a metaphor for growth and evolution of purpose. This piece is a reminder of the intrinsic value inherent in every living thing because of the subtly woven interdependence found throughout nature.
Like plants, we all hold an uncanny spark, a seed, which is a catalyst waiting to take root and flourish. Given the opportunity, it contains the power to be carried by a breeze, to land, and grow upward- and it is connected to everything.

Jessica Mohl is an Assistant Professor of Practice specializing in Jewelry and Metalsmithing in the Department of Art and Design at the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts, Purdue University. In her jewelry and metalwork, she explores the beauty and mystery of growth and cycles in the natural world.

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