Studio specializing in unique sand casted pieces of functional art for exterior and interior living spaces. Each piece is individually made from a living plant or leaf and then painted and sealed to be a reflection of art and utility. Choose from handcrafted bird feeders, bird baths, soap dishes, centerpieces and decorative bowls.
Starting plants indoors and getting ready to plant more outdoors soon! The first signs of flowers popping through my cover including crocus and some daffodils...so I start to get excited about my favorite color: Spring Green! I have a few casts that I can still keep myself busy painting, but it was a good year in 2012. I assess the year before I get busy with plants and it is truly an exciting time to realize I have now been doing this long enough to see the progression and the growth. My sales have grown and casting more pieces than ever and still coming down to the last pieces left to paint, which is all good!!!
Two of my passions are art and gardening. My sand castings reflect both, because each floral and leaf impression originates from my gardens.
I harvest each leaf individually just before casting it on my wet sand table. The leaf or flower is then put onto the sand form that I create, then I apply my mortar to the reverse of the leaf. The mortar is allowed to cure out and after turning the new leaf over, I carefully remove the wilted leaf from my cast. The new cast must cure again. Then I water color wash it with layers of paint.
Usually each leaf takes between 20 to 30 washes of paint. I attempt to capture light and realistic shadows to bring the leaf to life. Finally, I apply a triple coating of marine sealant so the leaf can be used both outdoors or in your home. Each piece is resilient and safe for intended uses.
See samples of previous projects on the Photo Album link to the right and full contact info is located on the About Us page.
Follow here for a listing of local shows.
The studio is located west of St. Louis, MO. Drivable from a 50 mile radius of the city.
I casted today on my wet sand table outdoors this afternoon. Wonderful Rhubarb leaves, Elephant Ear leaves, and a Hollyhock. Now I wait for them to cure out before I can turn them over and reveal the new raw leaf. I will have to wait to begin painting them...
Made some beautiful leaves a couple days ago. Giant Zanzibar Castor Bean...great leaves! The real leaf is this thumbnail photo and their is a photo on the album page from 2010 collection of a large one...it sold, but I did 2 more on the table so will be painting for the Nature Reserve show Dec 11th and 12th... I have set a personal goal to have raw leaves for painting during the winter this year so am trying to stay to a schedule...not always easy for me! My handicaps: high creative and not constrained by time...husband in small business...2 kids (pre-teen and a toddler)...
I am super excited to "turn over my new leaves" (Ha Ha) and pull off the wilted leaf to reveal how they really turned out! Weather is colder today and my casting outdoors days are limited. I hope to cast one more time on the outdoor sand table.
Removed the wilted leaves and all turned out beautifully! Love it when everything on the table is as I hoped... I should have one or two more castings outdoors if the weather holds out. I so like to do my casting out under the trees on my big sand table. Once the weather turns really cold, I will do limited casting indoors on a small table and begin painting like a crazed artist!
Happy Thanksgiving 2010...and now it is Black Friday! I will not be caught shopping today, but the snow from yesterday is melting so I feel like we have a bargain in the weather outlook...supposed to warm up again so I may get one more outdoor casting done. Right now, my last grouping is turned upside down so they would not collect water which might freeze while we were gone celebrating! I have some beautiful hollyhocks now to paint as I watch the winter weather from in front of my fireplace...
...Christmas spirit abounds! I am thrilled to be getting ready for my favorite holiday...and have a great show at The Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit tomorrow and Sunday. If you can make it there will be a great variety of talent showcased and treats too... Saturday hours are 10 to Brown Center entrance and wind back to the cabins. There will be wonderful items for sale for gift giving or treat yourself.
...still enjoying Christmas holiday spirit with friends and family. We have snow hanging in the trees as I paint by the fire! I will be busy after the New Year trying to get pieces ready for spring. Will be carried in a couple of shops (local area and St. Louis) too which is exciting...will tell more as details are worked out for gift shops. Hoping that spring sales for all the "garden and outdoor lovers" out there will do well...
Painting on a small grouping of leaves. Trios of aged copper hostas... These have been popular as pieces for dresser to hold jewelry and also wonderful soap dishes. I think I am going to try to keep one of these for my new bureau in our "new" master bedroom. Well, our remodel work isn't done, but my leaves are coming along quite nicely! Our room will be a wonderful space for relaxation and me to work as well. It will be almost a full 25 feet long! I put up the new curtains - chocolate! They are on a special rod I did with a bird perched on one side and a nest on the other... Doors to the 10 foot closet are painted - chocolate! The color scheme will be chocolate and green (spring green with some hints of sage), birds and leaves of course! I am so excited to have it coming together...projects at our house seem to take forever...
I just finished a first for me...a young boy used his own money to buy one of my leaves about a year and a half ago. His mom e-mailed me to tell me she felt terrible because she had knocked it off the table and broke it. I told her I would try to repair it because it was special to him. The break was pretty clean so I used some special mortar epoxy and kept reapplying as it would shrink. Finally had it like I wanted and repainted the leaf. It looks like new! Can only tell it was broken if you flip it and check out the backside! I will seal it and return it to him... I love that it was a kid that was so psyched about my art!!!