Back in 2014,  I was deeply moved when I saw the amazing ceramic poppy art installation, "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Poppies" in the Tower of London's dry moat to mark the centenary of World War I. There were 888,246 poppies -  one for each British and Colonial fatality during the war. The poppies pouring over a wall and out of a window were particularly vivid and poignant (see this video)

One of those ceramic poppies represented something to our family. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of an ancestor (my husband's family) who served with the East Sussex regiment. He survived one of the bloodiest battles, the Battle of the Somme (1916), only to be killed in action in March, 1917 during further operations in Flanders. He was just 32 and he left behind a wife and young son.

888,246 doesn't seem like a large number but the actual toll was about 18 million (both military and civilian) total during WWI. The disproportionate effect was profound at the time when populations were smaller.  Only one in 10 young British women after the war was able to marry and have a family. There were simply not enough men left alive or were well enough to marry.

Why the poppy?  It was "one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields" after each conflict. Canadian physician, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, realized it was a fitting memorial symbol. He wrote his famous poem, In Flanders Field, after presiding at the funeral of his friend and fellow soldier.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Check out these 3 poppy field inspired tutorials if you would like to make some polymer clay poppy jewelry for November 11 as well as  donate to Veterans' organizations. LEST WE FORGET.

This first one by JustHandmade is my favorite.

Mo Clay also has a tutorial for a single bloom on a grey background.

KriKreativ has a tutorial which shows how you can use the poppy in different pieces. Great tip on how to add jump rings for making the bracelet.

Before You Go:

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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