Imagine That! Creations, LLC

American Made Since 1998

John Wayne Jackson

Black Mountain, North Carolina
Using real leaves, I sculpt the form using my proprietary medium - OmegaStone - creating an organic "canvas" resulting in a contemporary fossil.

Tell us about your business.

My work takes real leaves and transforms them into contemporary fossils sculpted in stone. My work is inspired by the forms of nature. From obtaining the leaves in exotic jungles and gardens to making and unveiling the finished piece (which sometimes is a complete surprise) the entire process is an adventure. My work honors the natural environment; my attitude is one of gratitude and reverence. My wife, Paige, and I began in our back garden fifteen years ago after viewing a segment on the Martha Stewart show. WOW, what a shift that created in our lives. We have consistently grown to a 3,000 square foot studio facility in the mountains of western North Carolina where we employ two assistants who help us supply inventory to twenty juried fine art festivals and wholesale art galleries and gift galleries around the country. We are truly living our dream...thanks, Martha!

What makes your business stand out?

There are many versions of the leaf sculptures originally created by Little and Lewis...the inspiration of thousands of back yard crafters. What we have done is take the product up market to fine art rather than garden art...there is room for both. We use a proprietary stone-based medium invented by John. The medium and finish are our primary advances in the art form.

What's the best business advice you've received?

From a friend I met when we first started - Chuck Barwood. Chuck was instrumental in our initial development - mostly in understanding the chemisty of the materials - at the time concrete and the additives available. His company supplied small buckets of a number of samples that got me started on the journey of inventing a totally new medium. So, to say the least, I owe Chuck a debt of gratitude for his generosity in time and advice. Five years later, I ran in to Chuck at an installation and asked why he took me "under his wing". He said his philosophy is to always help those in need and he sensed my need. His advice, in the form of a promise from me, was to simply take the spirit of how he helped me to helping others who need it. That absolutely transformed my relationship to other people in business - I no longer see others doing something similar as competition. I see them as an opportunity to help if they are willing to listen. The rewards in gratitude are wonderful.

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