Happy Friday! For this week’s Made in Arkansas, AY About You features art from the Central Arkansas-based Organized Chaos Collection.
Although Erin Pierce has been an artist for years, she began selling her work as Organized Chaos Collection two years ago. She makes everything from jewelry to preserved flower displays to pet portraits, and nearly all of her work is inspired by nature.
Prior to the pandemic, Pierce traveled across the country to bring her work to market in cities like Albuquerque, New Mexico and Austin, Texas. Although she is now unable to travel as much, she still found new ways to grow Organized Chaos. Flower preservation has always been part of Pierce’s work, but this year she began making displays out of bridal bouquets, which beautifully preserves wedding day memories for years to come.
“I had been doing flower preservations for a while out of wildflowers. Normally when I make something it’s because I want it first” says Pierce. “So I’d been making flower displays as gifts when brides began making requests.”
The process to preserve flowers begins almost immediately after the weddings. Pierce generally receives the bouquets within a couple days of the wedding in order to keep the flowers as fresh as possible, and she presses the flowers right after receiving them. A month later, she removes the flowers from the press and arranges them to display. She also finds frames to suit the bride’s tastes, and some brides preserve their flowers in resin and place them in embroidery hoops to display. This method, according to Pierce, actually protects the flowers from sunlight. Pierce also uses any extra flowers to make potpourri to give the brides, so no materials go to waste.
Pierce plans to rebrand the bridal flower preservation part of her work as a separate entity in 2021. The new company will be called Myrtle and Ivy, which is based on Pierce’s research into the origins of using flower bouquets in weddings.
Organized Chaos Collection also includes many other items. Pierce turns preserved flowers into jewelry, including earrings and necklaces, as well as suncatchers. She also makes pieces out of butterfly wings, which come from aviaries from all over the world. The result is beautiful jewelry made using sustainable practices.
“Buying butterfly wings from sanctuaries actually helps these aviaries,” says Pierce. Aviaries like the Butterfly Garden in New Orleans actually help maintain butterfly populations, and Pierce is helping those sanctuaries by purchasing their wings.
Customers can also commission portraits of their beloved pets from Pierce. For more information about Organized Chaos Collection, check out their website and Etsy and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.