I absolutely adore leaves, especially in the autumn months. Even at my age, I find it difficult to resist wading through and kicking up those lovely brown crunchy leaves when I find myself ankle deep in them along the footpath. They do give me a childlike kind of joy.
I suppose my love of leaves, and indeed trees, come from the happiest times of my childhood spent at my grandparent's bungalow in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire. Their garden was surrounded by trees, beeches, maple, sycamore and great big horse chestnuts, and an old Elm that eventually succumbed to Dutch Elm disease and fell on a corner of the bungalow in a gale. In secret corners of the garden I would find leaf skeletons, which always fascinated me.
So, this means that leaves often feature in my jewellery, and now I have mastered many techniques in polymer clay, I'm like a kid in a sweetshop. I have a small patch of woodland a few yards down the road, and my front window view is happily blocked by two big lime trees and three birch trees, so I have the pick of dozens of leaves. I found this wonderful technique of making polymer clay leaves right here and it really works well.
The first leaf I made using this method was a sycamore leaf. When I pulled that leaf off the clay...WOW! The incredible detail was amazing. Sadly I messed up the stalk, and it was far too big to use in jewellery, but that gave me the encouragement to do more. I made a couple of beech leaves for earrings, then dripped some gloss on the front while glossing the back, so they stuck to the table, so they went in the bin..but now, I have beech leaves, birch leaves and sycamore (what a job it was to find sycamore leaves small enough and within reach).
So here are some of the items I have made from them.