Posts in Lotus pond
Evolution of Design

Have you ever wondered how the ring on your finger or charm on your necklace came to be? Designing Jewelry is a detailed multi-step process.  Designers use many different techniques to get the idea from their imagination to the final finished piece.  My process may differ from others, some have additional skills that I have yet to learn.  Currently I am working on a new component to build on my current collection.  As the Lotus pond is always a source of inspiration, I went back to visit and take a few photos.

While I found the Dragonfly appealing I felt unsure about my ability to capture the lightness and magical feeling of the wings.  My next thought was to create a bird, however I felt the size would not be the right scale next to the Lotus flowers I currently have in the collection.  Finally I decided to create a Koi fish, always a popular character in the garden.  Koi are also a symbol of perseverance and overcoming obstacles, both important reminders that resonate with me.  Other characteristics associated with the koi include good fortune, prosperity, courage and ambition.

Once I identify my muse, I work on a few sketches until i'm happy with the shape and detail.  From this two dimensional design, I work with a 3D CAD designer.  This part of the process is a true collaboration requiring patience and clear communication.  After a few rounds a final file is created which is then sent to a 3D printer that produces a plastic model.  This model is used to help determine the size of the final piece and to place the sprues (a channel through which metal is poured into a mold).  The final part of the process involves a mold of the piece which is filled with recycled sterling silver, resulting in the finished piece.

Hope you've found this breakdown of my process interesting.  Would love to hear feedback, and answer any questions in the comments.  To be one of the select few to get first looks at the new creations including the Koi, join the Karma Collective, my monthly email newsletter.

Success! I have live Lotus plants!

Part Three

The hardest part of this process (growing my own lotus plants) has been waiting for them to blossom.  After planting the tubers in April, the plants began to sprout leaves less than 2 weeks later.  So exciting to see these first leaves unfurl but then a little let down as I waited several more weeks for more leaves to appear and grow.     

Finally, close to 8 weeks in to this project a bud appeared.  At this point I began feeding my lotus pond tabs, these small fertilizer pills are easily inserted into the mud at the center of the pot every week.  The second week of June, my very first full bloom!  

In total I was able to grow three buds in one pot, two grew into full flowers and sadly I broke the stem of the third.  While lotus are very strong, during the growth period they can be a bit fragile so take care.  Once fully open each flower lasted approximately 3-4 days, this is typical.  Watching this process has caused me to appreciate and see the beauty in each phase.  

I hope you have enjoyed this series and are inspired to grow your own lotus!  Feel free to leave questions in the comment section or suggestions for the next mini series.  Click here to see my lotus inspire jewelry.

How to plant your Lotus tubers

Part two 

Its best to be prepared for potting before you unpack your tubers.  In addition to a proper pot, you will simply need dirt and water.  Everyday dirt from your garden is fine however if you use store bought dirt do not use potting mix, with peat or pearlite.  There are specific pond soils available labeled as aquatic plant media that can also be purchased.  Now that you have your pots, soil, and most importantly lotus tubers, it's time to start planting!

Once you have planted your lotus place in full sunlight and check back every few days to make sure the mud is fully covering the tubers and submerged under water, adding more water if necessary.  After several days you will begin to see the shoots grow and small leaves which will lay on the water.  iApproximately 2 weeks after planting the first vertical leaf or aerial leaf will appear. Now it’s time to fertilize.  Home improvement stores do not sell the type of fertilizer needed for your lotus, pond tabs are available at Bergen Water Gardens and Nursery which is the supplier I purchased my lotus tubers from.  According to their instructions tabs should be inserted into the mud every 2 weeks for best growing results.  Below are the first four weeks of our lotus life, you may notice that they were moved from the original plastic black pots in the above video and replanted into wide ceramic pots; this move was made because the black plastic pots were not appropriate, the water continuously drained out, again showing the importance of using the correct pot in the beginning.  

I hope you are enjoying this journey as much as I am, if so please "like", "share", and leave a comment.  Check back next month to see if the flowers begin to bud.  Click here to see the Floating Lotus ring, inspired by these early leaves of the lotus plant.

The Plants Have Arrived!

Choosing which lotus to purchase amongst the many varieties may be the most difficult part of the process.  When making this decision be sure to keep in mind the size of pot you will be using.  even if you have a large pond, it is important to plant the lotus in a pot then place the pot into the pond.  The four lotus I choose are ment to grow happily in medium to large pots.  Take a look at how the tubers are packed and what to expect when they arrive. 

When purchasing pots be sure there are no holes or drainage spouts.  Standard plastic pots from any home improvement or garden store should be fine, however there are many beautiful decorative pots available if you have a higher budget.  Below take a close look at what the tubes look like when they are unpacked and ready for planting.  The next post will go into detail on how to prepare the soil and planting the tubers for optimal growth.

Interested in seeing how the different stages of the lotus have inspired a jewelry collection?  Click over to experience The Living Lotus