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My favorite olive tree at Florence’s rose garden inspired this installation in honor of the International Day of Peace. I began with photo sessions focused on the foliage as well as some leaf-collecting, and sketches of the gently curved branch snippets followed. Early versions included hand-drawn olive tree branches accompanied by peace-related words, but working with the snipped olive branches led to the idea to impose the words upon actual leaves. I remembered having read in the manual for my Olivetti Lettera 22 that there was a "blind"-typing setting. Sure enough, it beautifully embossed the words on to a thin sheet of copper.

So, just like, that, the project finally came together. I typed each word onto the copper, traced the leaf shapes around them, trimmed & smoothed the edges with wire wool, punched a hole in the end of each and strung a length of wire through. To create the title I used 1.0 mm copper wire (which I had been previously tried using to “write” the elements of peace words). And then I walked up to the rose garden to place the peace leaves among the branches of the olive tree.

In the months since the initial installation, some leaves have disappeared and new ones have been added at the request of others—an ebb & flow that seems to fit right in with the growing cycle of a tree. I am always happy to make/add more leaves; just as the quest for peace is ongoing, I hope this project can be as well. Feel free to offer an "element" that you feel might help to bring more peace into the world (either via my blog or in an email).

See studio/process images here.