So…. What’s so special about leaves?

“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a great deal to love a leaf.  It’s ordinary to love the beautiful, but it is beautiful to love the ordinary.”  Unknown

 This is my first blog, so it seems appropriate to start with the quote that leads my website.  It’s one of my all-time favorite quotes because of its obvious focus on the idea that there is beauty in everything. I find leaves to be the perfect symbol for this concept. Leaves of all kinds are everywhere, in abundance.  In fact, they are so abundant that we barely notice them. In our minds, we have iconic symbols that represent each type of leaf that is know to us.  Once we identify a tree, there is no need to look further at the leaves, unless, of course, it’s the height of autumn and those leaves are a spectacular color, in which case we observe the whole of the tree.  However, several years ago, while admiring the beauty of a giant Magnolia tree in my yard, I started to notice the leaves…and by that, I mean each individual leaf. I noticed that no two leaves are ever exactly alike.  I’m sure we all know this on some level, but I’m not sure we are really aware of it. For whatever reason, I became acutely aware of it.  Each leaf, a unique being unto itself.  They felt like friends. And, so… I started using real leaves that fell to the ground from my Magnolia tree as my models.  (The picture shown here is my very first “model” Magnolia leaf and the copper leaf I created from that model.) After that, I couldn’t help but notice the unique qualities of every leaf I saw, and then it just became the norm to use real leaves that I found on the ground for every design. Why use an iconic shape when there’s so much real character and personality all around? And who better to bring that into our daily world but “ordinary” leaves? So… when I share a leaf with you in my work, it’s not just any leaf. It’s a special leaf that had it’s very own shape and character and caught my eye because of it’s very unique beauty.  And, that is what’s so special about leaves…

It probably goes unsaid that my love of leaves led me to study their mythology, history and lore. My upcoming blogs will share some of the information that deals with our ancient and very close relationship with trees and their leaves. I hope you’ll enjoy this lore as much as I have.

4 thoughts on “So…. What’s so special about leaves?”

  1. Hi Jamie,
    Your blog reminded me of my mother. She taught lower grades for 42 years and loved nature. We dyed Queen Anne’s lace to make bouquets, collected all sorts of bird feathers and waxed Osage oranges in the fall, Her favorite thing was collecting ginko leaves, She laminated them and arranged them in little pictures. Every once in a while one will fall out of one of her books. A little reminder that she is still with me.

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    • How lovely … thank you for sharing that. I just recently made a sun catcher from some chicken feathers I found on the ground at a friend’s house. They thought i was crazy for picking them up! I made patterns from them because they were such a mess…but they came out so beautifully in the copper! I’ll be posting it soon…hopefully I can remind you of your mother often 🙂

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  2. I love leaves too. Press them and use them in pictures. Love them. I have a lead on my shelf I brought back from India. I couldn’t help myself it was huge and beautiful. Keep at it the blog will be great!

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