I am pleased to introduce Smoky Mountain Leaf Works in Wears Valley, Tennessee.
I fell in love with the Smoky Mountains in 1987 after traveling here for the first time. Now a resident since 2006, I appreciate the defining beauty of each season but the spectacular color of the autumn leaves inspires me. Each year I find myself picking up extraordinarily colorful leaves and pressing them between book pages with no particular reason in mind on what to do with them. Thus, Smoky Mountain Leaf Works was born.
In 2010 I experimented with leaf stencils and paint but that really didn’t capture the natural leaf colors I wanted to preserve. I sought to do something more.
I collect all leaves in autumn from the Smoky Mountains area. No leaves are ever taken from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park itself. I firmly believe in the concept of “leave no trace” (meaning “leave what you find”). Collected leaves are either pressed for one to two weeks or preserved in silica gel for a couple of days. An acrylic sealant is applied to both sides. I then select a frame and matching acid-free paper for the background and create a design that complements the leaves, background and frame. I have also experimented with making my own paper with leaf inclusion and terra cotta stepping stones. Ornaments and/or suncatchers are new favorites for me to create and I’m about to begin crafting note cards.
As each individual leaf is God’s unique creation, each collage, leafy person and bird is a one-of-a-kind item.
My distinctive leaf creations have inspired an overwhelming positive response from locals and visitors to our wonderful mountains. Comments have included:
“I’ve never seen anything like this before”
“what a neat idea”
I hope you enjoy browsing my blog. Items may be purchased soon right here on this site.
Cindy A. Johnson