FINE CRAFT IN A COOPERATIVE SPIRIT
The center of Joan Mercer's personal universe has been flowers and plants for over twenty years. Her life has revolved around combining her love of art and her love of flowers ever since. After majoring in art at Saint Cloud University in Minnesota, she moved to Phoenix and worked at a retail plant nursery while studying the secret life of plants at Arizona State University. In 1980 she earned her B.S. Degree in Horticulture while managing the nursery. A deep desire to leave the desert behind for the lush tropical climate of Maui, with its year round growing season, lured Joan to the island in 1981.
Once on Maui, it took her little time to find her niche. She found employment managing five acres of commercial protea flowers for Ehu Farms. During her stint there, the number of acres blossomed to twenty-three and production increased by ten-fold. Also, during these years, she developed an art form virtually untapped and undiscovered in the area of dried protea flowers. Joan tapped into her artistic talents and through extensive experimentation, developed her distinctive and original designs using protea flowers. During the seventeen years with Ehu Farms, Joan displayed her wares at various art exhibits, craft shows and hotel events throughout the state.
A strong desire to expand artistic horizons after this long run with proteas prompted Joan to explore her concepts of pressed flower design. Developing certain techniques for color retention and coatings, she broadened the scope of pressed flowers added spacial dimension to a traditional art form. Using flowers and foliage from her own gardens, she creates Hawaiian leis, window ornaments, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and mobiles that keep their unique beauty and elegance forever. Always experimenting and creating, Joan's flower universe continues to expand and flourish.