A handcrafted, personalized piece of art can do wonders for the soul.
It can lift spirits, elicit warm nostalgic feelings, and even make a new house feel a little more like a home.
This was the case for one client who reached out to Meg Leslie of Atherley Arts, for help transforming her vision into reality.
Liz Schamehorn and her husband moved into a new house in Muskoka in April 2020. The house was built with accessibility to accommodate his wheelchair. Gazing at an empty space on the wall between her new cooktop and microwave, Liz began thinking about what would look good there.
“I pictured a focal point backsplash and thought it would be the ideal place to put something original,” recalls Liz. “I wanted to have something made that would have meaning for our family.”
She instantly thought of Meg and her beautiful handmade porcelain and mosaic tile work. So, Liz reached out and began sharing her ideas.
“Meg instantly got it,” says Liz. “I told her I wanted to incorporate natural forms based on the woodland flowers that grow on our property. We settled on trilliums and wintergreen.”
To truly make it something heartfelt and personal, Meg went a step further and inquired about any special numbers in Liz’s life. Liz explained five was special – it represented Liz, her husband and their three children – while four signified their granddaughters.
“After carefully consulting with me on design and glazes, Meg produced an image for the final work, adding her own suggestion of beech leaves to add to the spaces between the flowers,” says Liz.
Meg handcrafts every piece in clay, glazing and firing them in a kiln in preparation for installation.
The finished porcelain and mosaic tile piece in Liz’s home is brilliant. White trilliums stand out against the two-toned green on the leaves; bright red wintergreen berries and pale buff beech leaves create charm and balance.
“The result is stunning,” says Liz. “It’s visually and symbolically perfect. I couldn’t be happier.”
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS DEB HALBOT & STAN OAG