1 of 2
2 of 2
Tannenbaum: German for fir tree and also the name of the craft studio Heinrich Leonhard founded with his mother, Ida, in 1982, a quarter-century after the pair immigrated to Columbia from Germany.
Heinrich was in his mid-twenties at the time, with a young family, and saw an opportunity to start a business that would allow him to capitalize on his creative side. He had taken watercolor classes while he was a student at the University of Missouri and was inspired by the traditional German themes that his mother, a self-taught artist, had painted on refurnished wooden trunks.
The Leonhards incorporated similar Old World European designs, such as delicate snowflakes and supple fir trees, onto small, hand painted ceramic bells.
Decades later, these Christmas tree ornaments remain among Heinrich’s most popular items; they’ve been featured in a Smithsonian catalog and were hung on a White House Christmas tree. Heinrich produces a new bell design each year, as people collect them.
Heinrich’s other work often accompanies the bells; his assortment of ornaments, sculptures, figurines, candle holders, ceramic fish, tea sets, and tiles are also covered in brightly colored German patterns and can be found online and at art and crafts shows.
Call 573-874-1340 or visit hleonhard.com for more information.