A Single Leaf


 Up Close With Nature by Wendy Gray Raven

Something as seemingly insignificant as a single leaf can serve as inspiration for a piece of art. This series of images expresses just that, showing my design process for a mosaic based on a leaf  I photographed at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. The top right image shows the actual leaf; below it is a sketch for the design, followed by the work in progress. Using marble, stone, handmade ceramics, and Italian smalti I reinterpreted the leaf into a mosaic.

The Garfield Park Conservatory, designed by landscape architect Jens Jenson, is an amazing place to enjoy plants and flowers from around the world. My family spent many hours at the park exploring exotic ecosystems, public art exhibits, and a pond full of turtles. Unfortunately, the June 30th Chicago hailstorm caused extensive damage to park’s structures, plants, and equipment. Visit their site, Garfield Park Conservatory, to learn more about the conservatory and the fundraising efforts to restore it to its former glory.