1349 Gunbarrel Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Joint Craft Venture! - LEAF CASTINGS

Two Finished, Painted Concrete Leaf Castings at St Francis Cottage
Finished Concrete Leaf Castings.

We enjoy making leaf castings from elephant ears, hosta leaves and other leaves with a distinct vein pattern.  Nancy makes the castings using a high strength mortar mix reinforced with a central layer of fiber mesh joint reinforcement tape (used for sheetrock joints).  

High Strength Mortar Mix (Any good brand will work) for Concrete Leaf Castings
High Strength Mortar Mix (Any good brand will work)

Fiber Mesh tape (comes in various widths from your local hardware DIY store)
Fiber mesh tape (comes in various widths)

Molded Concrete Leaf after curing for 20 days at St Francis Cottage.
Molded Leaf after curing for 20 days.
Close-up of molded concrete leaf detail at St Francis Cottage
Concrete Leaf impression detail.

Wallace takes over with the painting using acrylic or water based paints and stains using simple sponge brushes and small utility art brushes. Styles are usually taken from nature, but we sometimes just do colors that we like.  Some folks airbrush the patterns, others leave them plain and just seal them.  

 Painted Molded Concrete Leaf at St Francis Cottage
Painted Molded Concrete Leaf

We finish them with a cement sealer or multiple layers of clear acrylic spray paint, making them suitable for outdoor use.  All of the leaves pictured are between 15 and 22 inches in length.

Molded Concrete Leaf Painted. An early pattern.  No two are alike.
An early pattern.  No two are alike.
Another painting variation. Molded Concrete Leaf at St Francis Cottage Chattanooga
One of many variations.

There are many ideas, hints, lists of materials and techniques posted on the web.  We combined a number of the methods and experimented with a few mortar mixes to find what we liked best.  Look around out there and see what you find that suits your artistic style.                                                  .