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oldlady

Using Fresh Leaves For Making Molds

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many of my pots are made using bisqued slabs that have fresh leaves rolled deeply into them.  once bisqued, they allow a new slab rolled over them to have great relief designs that i make into dishes, trays, and the flowerpot shown in the community challenge.  when i am in florida, i have access to a number of interesting leaf shapes that do not grow in west va where i work now.  so, finding substitutes here is a little like a treasure hunt.

 

the ones i like most are from delphiniums.  they are just heavy enough and have a shape that fits nicely with my needs.  unfortunately, i have used up all the ones i have.  do any of you grow them or their relatives?  i would love to find a source and happy to pay for shipping.

 

heavily veined, sturdy leaves like those of hydrangeas work the best to roll into clay.   i use those all the time for spoon rests but i am looking for any other kinds you might suggest for making relief molds.   who among you is a gardener?

~janie and mss like this

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thank you, karen, but no.  other nearby potters use large leaves so i do not.  the largest one i want to use is about the size of an average woman's hand.  i use about a dozen to twenty leaves of various sizes in each mold so having a large group is necessary to get the look i want.  the important thing to me is the thickness and veining and outline.  lots of leaves are pretty but too flimsy to make much of an impression.   geranium leaves have that substance as do hydrangias. 

 

pleasant, i have never used latex and find that i roll most of the slabs onto bisque easily enough.  the bisque mold is on top of an inch of foam to keep it safe from stress cracking as i roll the slab into it with a pony roller.

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thank you, florence, after looking for one for a long time,  i found a huge ginko tree at a park in the next county.   took several leaves the other day and put them in the fridge.  thanks for the reminder to use them.  they make great stencils, i don't know about their veins.  appreciate the offer.

florence w likes this

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I Have used nasturtium and geranium leaves quite successfully.

The ornamental vine leaves or the real thing are similarly suitable.

When leaves have too pronounced leaves or a stem which butts out too much ie too deep an impression, I have carefully sliced the offenders with a scalpel to reduce this effect.

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I have used elephant ear plants, picked the leaves at the end of  the growing season. Smaller leaves are at the bottom of the stem.  I didn't grow any this year because of the drought we have had the last three years  of course this year is rainy.  Denice

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We do similar impressions with leaves. Some of the best leaves

we found are Mulberry and Palonia. I grew a tobacco plant and the

leaf worked good also. We make slabs, put the veins side down,

roll the leaf into the clay, cut around the leaf and form in a long

shallow form. Remove or leave the leaf. Bisque. Stain and glaze

with a thin glaze or transparent glaze. Works for us! When it works great

the stain bleeds thru the glaze.

See ya,

Alabama

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babs, somehow i read your post, got interrupted and it disappeared into the ether.  nasturtium leaves are really nice, have not tried them yet.  yes, a razor knife does a great job of resizing stems and veins.  

 

 

 

 

bruce, i got the ginko leaves from the edge of the parking lot at lucketts.  

Edited by oldlady

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mimosa closes up instantly so it does not work even though the idea of mimosa is intriguing.  creeping mimosa has the most unusual flowers.  tried to take pics of them and the only good ones are in the house with a black background.  little sparkling, bright pink Tootsie Pops.

 

the mulberry is down near the river and is constantly being visited by deer and canada geese.  no fun walking around under it.  can't look up without regretting it.

 

have never seen mesquite.  what a great scrabble word!  gotta look it up.

Rae Reich likes this

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I have Walnut (regular), Silver Maple, Calla Lily and mini Cannas, all about 4-6". Be happy to dip in glycerine to send. Plenty smaller: hard and soft geranium, apricot, lemon, orange, grape (the bigger grape leaves got humidity fungus), laurel. Avocado and Magnolia down the block....

Dusty Miller?

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I have as many mullberry leaves as anyone might want. Has anyone ever used mesquite or mimosa leaves?

Jed.

Do you have silkworms? We had a neighbor who took armloads of mulberry leaves to the elementary school each year for silkworm science. ;)

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thanks, rae.  just did a japanese maple tray last night in a new to me experiment.  it should be awesome!  if it works, i have pics of each step.  

 

the only one of the many you mentioned that i have used and LOVE is dusty miller.  i still have one leaf from 5-6 years ago.  it dries up and stays straight so it can be used over and over.  most of the leaves you mention have either not enough substance for making a mold or are uninteresting once they are made.  looking at a magnolia tree is great, using only a part of its ordinary looking leaf is not interesting in my size pot.  thank you for the thoughts, but i really am looking for something like a heart shaped Mahoe hibiscus or a grasping hand from a scary movie, like the delphiniums and their relatives.  

 

look at my community challenge flowerpot and see the way blue sky vine looks in relief.

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thanks, raku, there is a figleaf hydrangia growing next to the public library.  that will make great spoonrests and the small ones might make the mold.  will take my tiny shears and sneak some off the back of the plant so nobody misses anything.

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I see what you mean now, @oldlady, you're going for an all-over veiny surface. I have a new angel-wing begonia that would make good vein patterns, but it only has three leaves now ;).

Maybe you could take your tiny shears to a garden center for a little judicious manicuring. If the staff are friendly you could really score!

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rae, do not tell anybody but that is what i do.     the lowes store in fl never missed the one or two leaves from each geranium and besides, the plant manager told me i could have some.   what i really want is delphinium and nobody sells it around here.

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trying this to see if i can post the pic of a new-to-me technique.  hope it survives and comes out something like this.  what do you think?  japanese maple leaves in the fall.   there are several slip colors on those leaves.  hope they come out distinctly different from each other on a soft green slip background.  gotta use the no-zinc clear glaze on this one to preserve those colors.   lots of work, hope it works.  (reminder to self, even on tests, cut the slab big enough to fit the mold, dummie.)

post-2431-0-45902400-1436665663_thumb.jpg

post-2431-0-45902400-1436665663_thumb.jpg

vinks, ShellS, florence w and 2 others like this

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thanks for reminding me i did not specify that they are all colored slips.  many colors, yellow mason stain, lobster mason stain, crimson mason stain, crocus martis, several other things.  all made with my clay body from trimmings.

~janie likes this

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