Leaf Castings

I'm really hoping to be able to work with concrete more this spring. I've really enjoyed making leaf casting over the past 2 years. I'm from New England, and have only a window of time to use leaves in our area. Not too many tropical plants with giant leaves grow in my yard. I try to grab all my large leaves before the bugs eat their way through them, making their own designs that never seem to coincide with what I'm trying to create. I've found that rhubarb is one of my favorites. It's got decent surface space and raised and textured veins that show up great in the cement. Hosta leaves, cabbage, arrowleaf ferns all are fun too. I prefer a more dimensional look to my castings, but you can also try banana leaves and large elephant ears. I am also experimenting with coloring the leaves. I've tinted the cement, and I've also painted the leaves after they've cured. Some of the most brilliant leaves I've seen in art books are colored with pure pigments. I haven't tried that just yet. It's on the list. And that list is long...
The next batch of leaves I cast, I'll try to take some photos of the actual process. It's a down and dirty one indeed. I always seem to gravitate toward the messy projects.

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