Years ago, I was fortunate enough to vacation in Scotland.  But I never paid any heed to the heather (Calluna vulgaris) growing in the countryside.  This low growing shrub is so common in Scotland, it is sometimes called "The Carpet of the Highlands" for the way it covers the landscape.

The beautiful mauve flowers are a delight but the Scots also have had many practical uses for the plant for centuries.  It is used as thatching and building material, as brooms, for fuel, as rope or woven into mats and in tea.  But one gorgeous way that is so unique is as jewelry!

Celtic Knot Brooch with Heathergem
Heather Gems makes the beautiful pieces by first harvesting the heather stems. These are cut, cleaned, dyed and then compressed into blocks. Shapes are then cut out using a computer guided system. The pieces are sanded and lacquered.  Just exquisite!

You can  see how they make it by either dropping by their Visitor Center in Pitlochry (north-west of Dundee), Scotland or you can  check out this video and see how natural heather jewelry is made from start to finish.

Hat tip to Anna of A Beader's Blog for sharing this remarkable find.

Scottish Heather

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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