A small hand-crafted glass Leadbeater's Possum grips with a sterling silver tail on a hand-poured and forged shibuichi branch with lightly engraved sterling silver eucalyptus leaves falling gently to complete the circle. The light oxidisation on the branch represents the loss of habitat in the 2009 'Black Saturday' bush fires. The Leadbeater's Possum is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand and is the national emblem for my state of Victoria in Australia. This little possum lives in the hollows formed in 250 year old Mountain Ash trees (Eucalyptus regnans), which is the tallest flowering plant on the planet. These trees once surrounded my home, but they were destroyed in the "Black Saturday" bushfires in 2009. Mountain Ash cannot regenerate like other Eucalypts. Further to the East of my home, old growth forest containing some 300 year old Mountain Ash was also destroyed. Many Leadbeater's Possums and other amazing Australian wildlife perished. This delicate community of Possums lost 45% of their habitat in these fires. The old growth forest that remains is systematically being logged for paper pulp on a daily basis. The Leadbeater's Possum status has just been elevated to "Critically Endangered".
For more work by Michelle, take a look at her website: www.mariposamagic.com