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Hike along one of the many trails in Arkansas and you are sure to observe a wide variety of flora and fauna. The beautiful intricacies of Arkansas’s flowers, leaves, butterflies and even spiderwebs seem fleeting, often captured only in photographs or the depths of our memories. Erin Pierce of The Organized Chaos Collection has found a way to create thoughtful designs using preserved flora and gain the attention of nature lovers and brides across Arkansas.
I’m a nature collector, and when I come across someone who also loves to collect, I get a little giddy. It’s not uncommon for the shelf in our laundry to be littered with leaves, flower petals, acorn caps and other natural treasures that I’ve rescued from the depths of a pocket after they were foraged by myself or my young son. Those items that avoid the laundry often end up decorating shelves and window sills throughout the house—each collection a tiny natural history museum of our outdoor adventures. When I found the preserved spiderweb artwork of Erin Pierce, I was intrigued and absolutely smitten.
“Spiderwebs have always fascinated me and evaded my camera when I tried to capture them. Only when covered in dew in the morning light can you really capture them in a photograph. After researching techniques on how to preserve them I just got out into the woods and experimented with different sprays, adhesives and papers to see what worked.”
Pierce’s experimentation led to a collection of creepy, yet shockingly beautiful, pieces of art and jewelry. When I discovered the rest of her collection, I fell in love.
Pierce received a Fine Arts degree from UCA and is a fellow outdoor lover who spends her days off hiking, biking, camping and exploring everything the Arkansas outdoors (and beyond) has to offer. Like me, Pierce would collect natural treasures during her travels. Collected snail shells, pretty leaves, interesting seed pods, butterfly wings, cool rocks, pieces of lichen and moss, and mushrooms became part of carefully arranged jars and shadow boxes throughout her home. Pierce began to turn her foraged natural treasures into thoughtful and attractive art.
Pierce developed her preserved flora collection, which includes jewelry like earrings and pendants, wall art and suncatchers, and turned it into a full-time creative business in 2019. She also began honing the craft of bridal bouquet preservation which has really taken off.
“I love the sentimental aspect of preserving wedding bouquets for brides. There is so much meaning and memories tied to the flowers and I feel honored to be able to preserve them and create beautiful heirlooms for their family to keep on enjoying. Each bouquet is unique, and I take great care to press and preserve the flowers and foliage so that they look great for display.”
Pierce works with each bride to determine what type of display the bride wants and then spends about two months turning the vision into something beautiful. The process includes pressing the flowers, choosing frames, arranging, pouring resin and curing. Pierce may also use parts of the bouquet to create earrings or other keepsakes for the bride.
Pierce’s artistic skills are expansive, and she works in a variety of media including acrylic, ceramics, stained-glass, resin, illustration, graphic design, florals, jewelry and more. She also paints custom pet portraits and custom jewelry design.
You can find the Organized Chaos Collection at her booth during local events held at Bernice Garden, Handmade in the Heights, Harvest Fest and more. To purchase ready-to-go pieces you can visit the Organized Chaos Collection Etsy Shop. Custom work like preserved bouquets can currently be commissioned through her website. Watch closely because in 2021 Pierce will be launching her bridal collection as a separate business called Myrtle and Ivy. Pierce will also be participating in The Oddities and Curiosities Expo which will be held in Little Rock this year. View the Organized Chaos Collection on Facebook and Instagram.
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