Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Quick Pile of Leaves

I have an order for a pile of leaves, and thought I might as well take some pics to show how I do this. A nice, simple shape for the newbies in the bunch! I ended up making a youtube leaf making video- check it out!
Here’s a photo tutorial to make these quick little leaves- they only take about 5 minutes!
1) Make a small base bead- shape ends nicely.
2) Decide which part you want to attach the leaf on, and melt a blob of glass onto that point. Make it kind of globular, not just a flat bit of glass.
3) Add layers of colors around that- I usually do that twice- here I’ve added two lines of clear on each side, then two lines of another green.

4) Dip in one or two colors of frit for some random coloration, or just add some squiggles of this and that.
5) Heat the leaf part of the bead to a nice glow- not completely sloppy, but pretty hot.
6) Get out your leaf press, and press into a rough shape. Try and center the leaf press on the glass before pressing.

7) Use your glass shears to further shape the leaf, and to make some nice deep vein lines.
8) Do the last step again if needed. You can also use your marver or paddle to help shape the leaf into a bit of a cup-like shape instead of having it be flat.
9) Heat the tip of the leaf, touch with a warm (not hot) rod of glass, and pull the tip of the leaf into a point if desired.
10) Pop that baby into the kiln.

The second series of photos shows how to do a leaf without a leaf press. Just follow the above directions, and press with a flat press rather than a leaf-shaped press. I really only use the press for rough shaping- then I like to tweak it a bit, so they all look different.
The leaf press is a wonderful tool for demonstrations- your onlookers get that ‘A-ha’ moment when they see the bead come out of the press. And it’s quite quick, for those with short attention spans!

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