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#1 Darcy Kane

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:44 PM

My gardens and the woods around me are full of interesting leaves. It got me thinking about how I could incorporate leaves into my glazing and decoration. What have you tried and what was the outcome?

#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:15 PM

I enjoy using leaves; these are among my best selling items. The small hosta leaf formed into a shallow bowl is my counterpart to Mark's spoon rest; sell them for the same price. The small hostas fly off the table -- people buy them for spoon rests, tea bag holders, earring holders, loose change holders, etc. What they like most is when they find out the leaf is from my own yard. The glaze is one of the few commercial glazes I use -- Opulence Celadon by Mid-South. Clay body is Highwater's Little Loafers, fired to cone 6 in electric kiln. As leaves are somewhat seasonal, I make a lot of them during the summer; I've not quite figured out how to make a latex mold of the hostas -- one that can pick up the fine lines -- so I can produce them year-round. The sunflower, sycamore and water lilly are made from a rubber mold of a real leaf.

The larger leaves are impressed onto slabs and then cut out. I form the shallow shape by cutting along the back stem and then folding the two sides over each other (with scoring and slip to help adhesion). I then place the form into one of the molds I made from housing insulation. The mold allows the form to set up. At medium leather hard, I add three feet -- which allows me to glaze the entire leaf. The smaller hostas -- after I form them, I set them on some egg-crate foam to set up.














#3 Denice

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:38 PM

I to love leaves, I have made 40 or so stepping stones in cement from my elephant ear leaves, this inspired me to make some plaster molds from them. Which in turn inspired me to make a fountain with large elephant ear tiles, but back in my hippie days we use to press them in the clay and then use a oxide wash in the pressed lines. Denice

#4 Kabe

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:12 PM

Leaves are fun to press into clay and make a plaster cast of so they can be made into tile pieces. Just have to watch out for under cuts if you have a thick or bent stem. you can build the clay up around a stem to block the plaster from going under it. you can take interresting looking tree branches and press them half way into clay and make a cast. Then you can use the impression to make sprigs to use as a border around a tray or another tile piece. Have fun. odd shaped stickes with bark or knots can be a great texture tool. sort of like a hammer to beat on the side of a wet pot. ain't clay fun Kabe

#5 clayshapes

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 10:46 PM

I have a collection of "botanicals" in my repertoire, and am always making more. You can see them at the link below, if you are interested. I impress leaves and flowers into soft clay. I get all of my inspiration for these pieces from my garden, and my walks through neighborhood ravines. http://www.etsy.com/...ion_id=10184595

#6 Doulla

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:26 AM

My gardens and the woods around me are full of interesting leaves. It got me thinking about how I could incorporate leaves into my glazing and decoration. What have you tried and what was the outcome?



I love using leaves and grasses. I make bird baths from rhubarb leaves and impress ferns into garden pots. I also use grasses as background for wall plaques. I enjoy walking around my garden and meadow looking for them. I do not make molds as I prefer just waiting until the leaves are in season.


Attached File  BoxingHarePlaques.jpg   684.43KB   118 downloads

#7 DAY

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 06:08 AM

I use underglazes to color the leaves. Here are a couple of Sumac and Mulberry as they turn from Summer to Fall.

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#8 Joanie

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

I use underglazes to color the leaves. Here are a couple of Sumac and Mulberry as they turn from Summer to Fall.



What type glaze do you use for the black? I really like that texture.

#9 Chris Campbell

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 04:40 PM

if you soak green leaves in a medium bleach solution, in various amounts of time you will be down to just the skeletons ... cool effects if you brush them with underglaze and gently lay them on the clay ... or in reverse, put them on clean clay and sponge on colors all round them.

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#10 SShirley

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 07:22 PM

Pick a bunch of pretty leaves and put them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer so you can have leaves to use in the wintertime too. I love the leaf skeleton idea. Gotta try that one. I used to make three-footed leaf soap dishes like the ones above, and shaped them by draping over a balloon. Those feet really made them easy to glaze.

#11 clayshapes

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:00 PM

Wow! Love this idea about freezing leaves. This has always been a big problem for me -- waiting until spring! And the skeleton trick also sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing these ideas. I can't wait to try them.

#12 olisny

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:41 AM

I then place the form into one of the molds I made from housing insulation. The mold allows the form to set up. At medium leather hard, I add three feet -- which allows me to glaze the entire leaf. The smaller hostas -- after I form them, I set them on some egg-crate foam to set up.


I love the idea of using housing insulation! I use it when I screenprint, but it never occurred to me to make molds out of the stuff; it's so carve-able. Thanks!

#13 clay lover

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:45 PM

I enjoy using leaves; these are among my best selling items. The small hosta leaf formed into a shallow bowl is my counterpart to Mark's spoon rest; sell them for the same price. The small hostas fly off the table -- people buy them for spoon rests, tea bag holders, earring holders, loose change holders, etc. What they like most is when they find out the leaf is from my own yard. The glaze is one of the few commercial glazes I use -- Opulence Celadon by Mid-South. Clay body is Highwater's Little Loafers, fired to cone 6 in electric kiln. As leaves are somewhat seasonal, I make a lot of them during the summer; I've not quite figured out how to make a latex mold of the hostas -- one that can pick up the fine lines -- so I can produce them year-round. The sunflower, sycamore and water lilly are made from a rubber mold of a real leaf.

The larger leaves are impressed onto slabs and then cut out. I form the shallow shape by cutting along the back stem and then folding the two sides over each other (with scoring and slip to help adhesion). I then place the form into one of the molds I made from housing insulation. The mold allows the form to set up. At medium leather hard, I add three feet -- which allows me to glaze the entire leaf. The smaller hostas -- after I form them, I set them on some egg-crate foam to set up.



=1229:Sunflower back.jpg]










Thanks for the great pics. How thick did you make the slab you used? Mine were very fragile and I broke several at greenware stage.



#14 bciskepottery

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 03:38 PM

For the small hosta leaves -- the slab is between 1/4 and 1/8 inches. For the larger leaves -- the slab is 1/4 inch. Little Loafers shrinks at 10%.

#15 StefanAndersson

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Posted 18 June 2012 - 12:48 AM

I use organic stuff, like leaves, but mostly larger plants as decoration in the firing. I just wrap the pieces in the plant and fire, in oxidation or reduction. The result is a redish blush of the salts and a clear glaze at the stem (only a little). Different plants give different results but as a start the ones tha grow fast are generally better.

#16 metal and mud

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

if you soak green leaves in a medium bleach solution, in various amounts of time you will be down to just the skeletons ... cool effects if you brush them with underglaze and gently lay them on the clay ... or in reverse, put them on clean clay and sponge on colors all round them.



I am very interested in this topic, as I love leaves (and natural objects), especially ginkgo leaves. Thank you for this post!! Could you please elaborate on what a "medium bleach solution" is and how long it takes to process a medium-sized leaf?




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