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vegetable parchment tealight blooms

by Margaret Dorfman
Community Voted
This item is sold out and no longer available.

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  • the story

Lit From Within

Margaret Dorfman transforms fruits and vegetables into decorative accessories that are works of art. Thinly sliced and specially treated fruits and veggies are arranged to form striking ornaments that are perfect for meditation, decoration or ambiance. The natural beauty of cabbage parchment pairs beautifully with the earthy zucchini, while vibrant papaya slices coupled with inky beets are reminiscent of a ripe harvest. Includes LED candles that create a truly unique home decor accent. (3) CR-2332-3V batteries included. Handmade in California.

Each is one-of-a-kind and will vary slightly.

Zucchini/Purple Cabbage (on left) and Beet/Mexican Papaya (on right) sold separately.

  • details
Community Voted
Item ID
Made from
dried food
Approx. 4" H x 5.5" dia.
Keep out of direct sunlight and away from moisture. LED candle has an accessible switch and battery slot.
  • the maker
Margaret Dorfman

Margaret Dorfman

Margaret's work is made by hand from over 40 different varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables that are cured, dried, pressed and aged in a 10-14 day process. The translucent parchments that result capture and preserve the jewel-like colors and intricate structures that are characteristic of each fruit or vegetable. She calls this Vegetable Parchment, because the texture and translucency calls to mind the vellum parchments of medieval Europe.

Margaret realized at an early age that the best materials like acorns, bark, moss and feathers weren't found in stores. She still believes that the best materials are found in unexpected places, such as Chinatown for lotus root and bok choy, small Mexican mercados for chili peppers and papaya, Japanese markets and Korean groceries for green necked daikon. Though she now uses a produce supplier, she still visits these places with an eye out for the novel.

Everything is cut by hand with an old-fashioned mandolin slicer and a wickedly sharp assortment of knives. Her studio follows sustainable practices, using reclaimed water and recyclable packaging, and no toxic products are used. Leftovers are composted, recycled or donated to the local zoo.

Margaret earned degrees in Linguistics and Anthropology from U.C. Davis. She then went on to gain fluency in American Sign Language, and worked for many years as a sign language interpreter. For the last 13 years she has done this work full-time at her studio in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and son.

"It is deeply satisfying to work with these fruit and vegetables," says Margaret. "There seems to be alchemy involved as they transform from the familiar and commonplace and become objects of unexpected beauty. But I know it is not magic--and I am not really creating something new. I am only uncovering what was always there to see."

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