We’re all looking for ways to pause. For ways to stop the To-Do List for just a moment. For ways to make interludes in our lives.
We have just the place for you in Portland at Artemsia: Collage with Nature founded by Amy Bryant Aiello. This lush, sweet spot has benefited even the most cynical among us. It’s a space that contains worlds to sink into, natural, sensory and creative. It feels like abundance, a natural sanctuary connecting us city dwellers with the greenery we now know we need (without the requisite walking boots). Though maybe even just words like these are enough to be a balm for our tired souls (each corresponds to a plant or an oil in the store): philodendron, black jewel orchid, alocasia amazonia, orange blossom.
The space is beautifully designed to get your fingers dirty, your mind conjuring, your nose awakening. The Terrarium Table is stocked with mosses, plants, rocks and adornments, so that you can craft natural worlds in glass containers to take home. Bringing nature inside in a way. The Essence Bar has a Botanical Library stocked with a range of essential oils and absolutes from which you can create a bespoke scent. Essences trigger different memory and physical responses, meaning the perfume that you design becomes a reflection of you. Both the terrarium and perfume making sessions can be accessed as DIY experiences, you get to create with some loose handholding from the people who work here.
More formal workshops are available too, like the wonderful sounding Kokedama Bonsai Class, Plant Parent Hood (we’ve learnt we can raise kids, but struggling with our Ferns) and intuition wielding stone netting. The Happy Hours are also popular: bring a friend, sip a drink and make something from nature’s materials.
Oh and if you need this space to be even more magical, there’s a white rescue dove called Paloma, who is often let out of its cage and will sit on your head if it likes you. That’s our kind of close call with nature if ever there was one.