Add in some sparkle!

Well, that blog silence lasted a lot longer than I expected, but we’re back to it at last! I’d hoped to do a post round-up of my latest commissions, but as none have yet reached their recipients that will have to be delayed so as not to spoil a lot of surprises. Instead, I’ll share my current clay obsession – mica leaves!

You’ll recall a while back I mentioned the Blue Bottle Tree as one of my new favorite clay tutorial resources. I’d downloaded the free mica leaf pendant tutorial sometime earlier in the year but never had the chance to try it out. The sudden profusion of baby maple trees and other weeds in my flower beds were recently inspiring, so after a quick purchase of entirely too many different colors of metallic powder I sat down and made these:

That was about all it took for me to be completely hooked. Even the most carefully composed pictures does these no justice; by pressing the reverse side of the leaf in to the clay and carefully brushing on the metallic powder you are left with a perfect, sparkling impression of each leaf, right down to the last vein. I mounted them in gold pendant trays for a bit of added strength (I am forever paranoid regarding thin pieces) and they were a tremendous hit at my recent fair.

Of course, why stop there? The maples were my favorite, but as they grew I was forced to use larger and larger leaves, far too heavy for a pendant. How about magnets instead?

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By carefully cutting out each leaf with an razor I get a nice contrast between the black base clay along the edges and the sparkly surface.

How about ornaments for the really big leaves?

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The detail is incredible on this one, and the picture doesn’t show its full beauty – the main body of the leaf is done in a duo green/violet powder, so that it changes colors depending on the angle. I hope to make a lot of these for the coming holiday season.

And that is why there is now a small forest growing in my studio.

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