Wednesday, November 07, 2007

leaf casting with recycled paper pulp

Several weeks ago I made a paper casting of one of my 36 inch elephant ear leaves, and I am so thrilled with how it turned out. (Unlike the elephant ear I tried to press!) Using recycled paper pulp (discarded printer paper paper I shredded, soaked, and blended), I placed the leaf vein side up on a mound of sand in our sandbox, and carefully applied about a 1/2 layer of the pulp.
I mixed some sand into the pulp to enhance the texture, and in order to make the paper casting rigid, I added several tablespoons of carboxymethylcellulose. "CMC", which reportedly "promotes fiber to fiber bonding and gives needed strength to paper castings", and I'm happy to say it worked! My leaf turned out extremely strong and rigid, and my kids insist that I've created a fossil.
I haven't painted it yet - I'm almost afraid to, because I'm afraid of ruining it. Maybe one of these days I'll get brave.

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Anonymous Crystal Jenmin said...


That leaf looks magnificent! Please go ahead and paint it, and show us the finished product.


7:10 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thank you Crystal!

I'm actually not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I'll be sure to show you the finished leaf - hopefully sooner than later!


9:56 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

Yes, I would love to see the finished casting as well! Please let us know when it's ready, great idea with the leaf casting :)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thank you for your interest, friends! The finished leaf cast is here:


12:30 PM  

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