Ashland Artisan Emporium

Featured Vendor #557 Joy with Leaves

Joy with Leaves, part of Silver Springs Designs, is a mother/daughter team with years of experience in the retail floral world. We are probably considered crafty, even though we haven’t really had any formal training. After retiring from the florist business we were both able to pursue painting. We don’t paint on anything but preserved leaves and recycled saw blades. There is more to the art project than just slapping some paint on it. Much consideration goes into every facet of producing a painted leaf, including positioning the picture on the leaf, which kind of leaf, and what frame will it fit in.

We are asked all the time, “Is that a real leaf?” People are always surprised when we answer, “Yes!!” We have leaves as small as half an inch all the way up to 36” across. The idea came about 12 years ago when we first tried painting on a preserved Maple leaf that had been stored for 10 years. The painting was primitive and the leaf was small. Our knowledge and experience has been a slow journey. We discovered that Southern Oregon was full of inspiring shapes and sizes of leaves… but not all leaves are candidates for a painting. We love to be outside, or go hiking, or just drive around looking at the different trees and leaves. To date, we have harvested 20 different varieties of leaves.

The preservation process and drying period is different with each type of leaf. Some leaves when dried are as thin as rice paper, while other leaves seem thick like thin leather. There is a risk of losing the painting all the way up until it is framed and under glass.

Because of our belief in conservation, we use reclaimed frames to create these “one of a kind” pieces of art.

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Ashland Artisan Emporium

The Ashland Artisan Emporium is owned by Michelle Christian, wife and mother of 3 daughters. Her husband, Travis, is the business manager for Adroit Construction in Ashland, Oregon. The Emporium was the vision of Michael Rydbom, Michelle's father. In April of 2010, Michael asked his daughter if she would be willing to help transform the old DJ's Video space into a crafter's marketplace. Michelle had always admired her dad's entrepreneurial spirit and was eager to make him proud, so even though she already had two kids, a real estate career and one more daughter on the way, she said yes. On November 1, 2010, the store opened it's doors to a welcome reception from the community. They were voted Best New Business of 2010 only months later by the Ashland Sneak Preview. Within weeks of opening, the store was at capacity and had quickly become the "go-to" store for all things unique and affordable.

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