Jeweler Chris Des Jardins had only been back in Louisiana for six months when Hurricane Katrina hit. “I wanted to do something to help with the recovery,” she says. Every other jewelry maker seemed to be concentrating on using the fleur de lis, a stylized lily that is the symbol of the Kings of France and the city of New Orleans. Des Jardins found another south Louisiana plant that caught her fancy — the lotus. The fragrant water flower grows wild in the swamps. “It was perfect,” Des Jardins says. “The flower and seed pod rise high out of the muck, representing the spirit’s ability to bloom in any circumstance.” She particularly loved the Cajun name for lotus, graine à voler, “seeds that fly.” (The oval shaped seedpod shoots its seeds into the air.) “That was what I was looking for, the organic shape combined with symbol of hope,” she says.
Des Jardins casts the seed pod in silver, then fills the small holes with “seeds” of sterling silver or semi-precious stones — pearls, garnets, jade or amethyst. She makes pendants and earrings, or will string necklaces to match the seed pod’s accent stones. The design is elegant and subtle. After 30 years of studying Buddhism in Idaho, she says the lotus was the ideal representation for her, both in her move back home and in her desire to create a symbol of renewal after the storm. Des Jardins donates a percentage of the sales to Habit for Humanity to help with the rebuilding of New Orleans.
Des Jardins’ lotus jewelry can be found at Beaucoup Beads (111 Rena Drive, 991-0411) and Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery (219 E. Vermilion St., 266 7999). For more information, visit www.dejardinsjewlery.com or contact Chris Des Jardins at 254-8427.
State Rep. Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette, surprised few in the Hub City Wednesday afternoon when he made (semi) official what most of us have known for months: He is running to replace Joey Durel as city-parish president.
Two bedroom town home or three bedroom contemporary home
Let the party begin
Louisiana's first black Republican state senator since Reconstruction — who was a Republican before he was a Democrat before he was a Republican again — is accusing Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of using the black community for votes and providing nothing in return.
LSU's governing board has backed new hospital privatization contracts that give hospital managers greater ease to leave the deal and fewer restrictions about must-have services.
Rachel Hector returns home to cultivate a generation of yoga instructors.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is courting young voters in several appearances across Louisiana this week, talking about her support for legislation that could lower students' college costs.
It is distinctly possible control of the U.S. Senate will hinge on Louisiana, which is why, during the last several months, outside groups have made this the most expensive election in Louisiana history.
Coton de tulear joins Westminster; Paypal splitting from Ebay; first US Ebola diagnosis and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 1, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
A constellation of South Louisiana musical stars descends on Parc Sans Souci to honor an ailing David Egan.
INDStyle Awards 2014 was one for the books; the American Cancer Society took over The Victorian's big tent; and the battle of the sexes was alive and well for Walk a Runway's Christmas fundraiser.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra teams up with choreographer Clare Cook for a modern take on a Stravinsky classic.
Local food pantries begin seasonal drives
A girl's best fashion friend
Stage 4 vet takes on cancer and reminds us all what it really means to get involved.
Creative living flourishes at Downtown’s artist hub
Four bedroom cottage or four bedroom traditional
Bold looks for fall define INDStyle Awards 2014
Statement pieces for the season
The gents venture out
Project Front Yard has been launched to help us change our image and our habits.
Alleged victim is a Navy vet with brain trauma resulting from a car accident three decades ago.
Is Mary fading as Vitter solidifies his lock on the fourth floor?
Richard Buswell was sentenced Tuesday to more than 10 years in prison for his role in an investment scheme that defrauded his clients of more than $6 million.
The Latin Music Festival returns to Parc International this Saturday, Oct. 4, from noon to 10 p.m.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.