Making my jewellery I use natural, found materials in a variety of ways. These three pendants are all made using the very same oak leaf in three different ways.
This piece was made by rolling out a slab of silver clay and then pressing the leaf into the surface to leave an impression. I then cut carefully around the outline to give the leaf shape. When the clay was dry, I sanded and smoothed the edges until I was happy with them and added a handmade bail to the back for the chain. When it was all ready I fired it in the kiln before giving it only a slight polish which has left it with a fairly matt finish. I've added patina to enhance the leaf texture.
Next came this piece. Again this was made by rolling out a slab of clay and impressing the leaf into its surface. This time, instead of cutting around the outline of the leaf I cut a free-form shape around the leaf. When the clay was dry I refined the edges as before and drilled the hole to take the jump ring. After firing, I polished around the leaf using a fine point on my polishing tool to give a shiny contrast to the texture of the leaf. Again I added patina to enhance the leaf veins.
This leaf was made entirely differently. I used silver clay paste to build up layers on the surface of the leaf itself. When it was thick enough and completely dry I fired it in my kiln which burnt away the leaf and left a 999 fine silver leaf in its place. I then drilled the hole and added the jump ring before tumbling to give a really great shine, again adding patina to enhance the natural texture.
As you can imagine - if you want to use the same leaf more than once, you have to make sure to work in this order! Once you've used a leaf with the paste method, it's all burnt to ash and you have a totally unique silver leaf that can't be re-created.
All these leaves are currently listed in my Folksy Shop.