A native of Jackson County, KY, Darlene Hellard’s mother-in-law taught her to make a cornshuck wreath in 1981. Her aunt who had learned to make cornshuck flowers by watching a program on Kentucky Educational Television, showed Darlene how to make her first flowers.
Darlene used to search through her neighbors corn cribs to gather corn shucks to bleach and dye for her flowers. Today she buys shucks commercially and uses fabric dyes to achieve her different colors. Her flowers are made by first tying a flower center onto a floral wire stem. Then each flower petal or bud is cut to pattern, shaped and tied individually before being assembled and tied again onto the stem.
Darlene’s favorite things to make are her cornshuck angels. Darlene says her talent is a gift from God and thanks him.
Darlene is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.
Darlene’s cornshuck flowers and angels can also be found at Promenade Gallery, Berea, KY; Honeysuckle Vine, Berea, KY; Artique, Lexington, KY; and the shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Cumberland Gap, KY.