Leaf Making

Fall is here whether you like it or not. This past week I was given an assignment to go out and find I leaf that I wanted to recreate in copper. I thought it was a great way to get into the fall season and work on texturing skills at the same time. The project was harder than I thought. I found a leaf that I loved but putting the bends into the thick gauged copper would be difficult. For the stem I just hammered it out to give it a beat up look.

First I started out by tracing the outline of the leaf onto the copper. I had to carefully press the leaf down without breaking it. Over time the leaf got smaller and had more pronounced bends because of it drying out. But I had the outline which is all I really needed. Next step was to add the texture of the leaf. This required chasing tools and a lot of patience. I then annealed the metal to make it softer. This way I wouldn’t have to hammer the texture hard. I used straight lines chasing tools and just hammered them onto the metal at different angles to get the veined look of the leaf.

For the color of the leaf I had to flame treat it. Flame treating is a way to patina metal. It took several tries to get it to look the way I wanted. Once I had the look that I liked I cleaned some of the fire scale off. I feel that I did well with texture since it was my first time actually trying to replicate something organic. I would like to work harder at bending thicker metal to get the curves the way I want them. Overall this project was a lot of fun and I hope to make another leaf at some point.

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