Leaves???

rickharmer(z4British Colum)August 23, 2005

I'm going to be doing some leaf work,using broad leaf maple(they max out around 12 inches)and was wondering what other people have done in similar circumstances.I looked at the tutorial that L&L did with Martha Stewart Living(thanks,guys!)but would like to get other input before I proceed.Believe it or not,I have to do it very soon,as the leaves are starting to turn!

Thanks for your advice on mixes and techniques.

Cheers from here

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hedgerowglenda

Check out this link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Leaf Casting

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 2:57PM
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puddle_of_mud(NC - zone 7)

I'd love to see that tutorial with L&L and Martha! Could someone pretty please send me the link, site, whatever? I would be grateful!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 4:19PM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Rick, What is it you're looking for? If people use fibers or dry wall tape or wire or admixes?
If the leaf has long pointy ends I "cut to fit" a piece of dry wall tape.
I don't use admixes or fibers.
Depending on what the leaves will be used for, I either embed a piece of plastic tubing to thread a wire for hanging or drill later.
I use mortar mixes but do like the look of clumpy peat moss in a mix. The clumps of peat moss wash out and you have great little nooks, these are great in fountains. When you use a smooth leaf casting in a fountain you see the water glistening on the leaf. When you use a leaf with nooks in it; you see the water jumping and moving. Depends on what you like.
When you're making the leaf castings and you've got a little left but not enough to make a whole leaf. Just do the pointed end of the leaf. You can poke this into the soil in planters as decoration. You can embed them into the sides of planters that you are making. Billie

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 4:22PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Rick, I know you have done tons of concrete/tufa work. Have you done any leaves at all? Some nice hosta or elephant ear leaves sure would be easier than a maple to start with! To me, a maple is a sort of naturally flat leaf without the curving, "drooping" quality of the hosta or ee. Seems like it would be hard to give the big maple a nice natural curve over a pile of sand. The edges will be the biggest hurdle I would guess; all those little points are hard to control as you apply the concrete. Best advice I can think of would be to use your most "clay-like" mix and go for it. You have mastered so many uses of concrete that I'm sure your leaf will be great even if it is your first one.
Laura

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 5:07PM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Um,I'm doing the leaves like the tutorial,on a mirror frame.Just bought a 16 by 24 inch mirror,will mount a frame around that.The leaves(which I'll also do some silicone molds for the off season)will be incorporasted into the frame,so flat is good!
Thanks for the immediate replies.I'll be working on them tomorrow afternoon.
Cheers from a busy here

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 5:41PM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Glenda-Thanks for the referral.and for the Puddle of Mud,take a look at the same referral.
cheers from here

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 6:34PM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Ummmmmmmmm Rick, there are two Little & Lewis tutorials. One on the fossil mirror and one on hosta leaf sculpture. That's why I asked what info you were looking for. Believe there is some information missing from the tutorial or not quite the same as it was on TV. Don't forget to coat the back of your mirror so you con't lose the silvering a few months down the road.
Laura, The edges aren't a problem, as soon as you remove the real leaf (any where from 4 to 24 hours) you can carefully file the edges with a coarse file or wood rasp. If you want the edge exactly like the real leaf, file the edge before you remove the real leaf but while the casting is still very green. Billie

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 9:16PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

hey, good idea. I hadn't thought of rasping before I peel off the leaf. That might help. Thanks.
Laura

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 10:29PM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Rick, I read that tutorial about the mirror and tried my own version without a mirror. It weighs a ton and I haven't really finished it with paint yet. I couldn't imagine the directions working like they were written. I have trouble visualizing these things when they are upside down and inside out so to speak. Please follow up after you do this. I would love to know if the directions work.
Laura

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 11:21PM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Thanks,Billie ,for pointing that out.I'm going for the fossil mirror look,using my own mix of cement/sand/perlite to reduce weight,but using 3:1 on the leaves for detail.I'll keep all informed!
Anyhow,the wine still sits heavy so sleep be forthcoming shortly.
Cheers from here.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 12:43AM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Are you incorporating the mirror into the concrete? If the concrete shrinks even a little bit, won't it crack the mirror? Or are you making a concrete/leaf frame and installing the mirror when it's done?

Sue

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 1:13AM
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gottatufa(z5 ny)

Sue, I did a faux bois around a mirror a couple years ago with tufa. The mirror didn't crack, but the tufa got a nice hairline in it. Didn't think of this, but it must be from the shrinkage like you are mentioning.
Jo

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 9:03AM
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spiderwoman(z6so.cent.PA)

Garden Gate Magazine also published a nice tutorial on making a leaf birdbath. Someone had the link on this forum but I did find it with Google.
spiderwoman

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 9:41AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Thanks all.I'll keep you informed.Cursing on my part will be the order of the day,If cracking DOES occur.
Cheers from here

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 11:16AM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)

Laura, Rick

can you give me the link for the fossil mirror, please?

Andrea

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 5:18AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Here is the place for the fossil mirror directions:

Here is a link that might be useful: Try this.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 8:12AM
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kobold(Vancouver BC)

Thanks, Laura!

I don't like some of their directions either. I guess, we all have our own way with the mud!

Andrea

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 1:09AM
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Dena6355(z8 WA)

Rick,
Reducing the weight in the mirrors is a difficult thing even using the mix you are. Consider making the outer section like a frame, and shaping it around a piece of foam cut to the shape of the mirror, (for later removal and replacement with the mirror). At the bottom of the frame consider placing an L type bracket or two in a position that will support the weight of the mirror once it is placed. You can use pvc pipe embedded in the sides to allow for you to draw wire through for hanging and securing. The mirror can be re-placed in the frame with marine caulking.
Happy casting,
Dena

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 10:33AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Thanks for the thoughts,Dena.I'm getting the mirror next week,I'll work on the frame then.Just did leaves yesterday with mix of 3:1,sand/cement using sandblasting silica sand,I think #70,and admix.The results aren't what I want so I'm going to go for silica flour(200 mesh),same ratios,although I do like 1:1 for smoothness!
Cheers from here

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 11:27AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Tried a leaf a couple of days ago.The 1:1 ratio give MUCH better detail than the 3:1,when I do these smaller,flatter leaves.BTW,I need smaller,flatter leaves so I can apply them AFTER the mirror frame is poured,so that they stand out ,a bit,creating a shadow effect on the frame.At the same time,these leaves that I've done are not very strong,snapping easily.But,I'll be Gorilla gluing them onto the frame,so I expect that will be enough.
Anyhoo,back to the mudpile!
Cheers from here.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 6:11PM
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billie_ann(6b PA)

Rick, A couple of years ago I attached leaves to finished planters and had a problem with the leaves coming off in the Winter. You have to watch how you attach them so that water can't build up and freeze behind them. I use mortar to attach them; let me know how your's hold up with Gorilla Glue. No problem now using mortar. These planters are more "fragile" because of leaves sticking out and you have to handle them carefully. Billie

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 6:34PM
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gottatufa(z5 ny)

Rickharmer, Please be sure to post pictures of your mirror and frame for us to see. It sounds like a wonderful project! I would love to see those maple leaves and how it all went together.

Jo

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 7:02PM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

Hey,Billie!Thanks for the info-Goriilla is one way to look at,I've never used it.Epoxy is another,then,as you say,mortar.I'll be doing the frame this week,getting the mirror on Wed.
Jo-I've made more promise than a politician(pick one!!!)about photos;my wife has some stored away on the computer,so I'll figure out how to use it,or die trying!
Cheers from here!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 7:22PM
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