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FINDING THE PERFECT LEAF

Pick a fresh leaf for your project. It can be kept fresh in a plastic bag with a spray of water untilyou are ready to use it. PLEASE NOTE: You will be painting on the back of the leaf.

Shape1. The general shape of the leaf should be ininteresting. Less interesting shapes can becombined into groups. Contrasting shapes and sizes can make beautiful collagepieces.

2. Ruffled edges or bug holes can add a great design element to your piece.

3. You should be careful of sharp points on the leaf edges; when they become solidmetal they can scratch or tear clothes.

4. The leaf should be firm. Weak, limp leaves do not hold their shape well.

5. Long, narrow leaves can roll or curl.

6. Keep the stem on the leafto provide a handhold.

Texture

1. The vein structure gives you a beautifultexture. The veins should be pronounced.

2. Feel the veins to make sure that they are tactile, not just visual. Sometimes the leafmay look interesting but the clay will not pickup the texture if it is not defined. Whenyou cannot feel the texture of the leaf, the clay will reflect that fact.

3. Leaves should not be too waxy or hairy, becausethey are difficult to coat with paste.

4. Thick, moisture-filled leaves may split during firing.

5. Pods make interesting pieces, and usually split open during firing, making a greatplace for setting a stone.

Color

1. The leaves can be beautiful in bright silver.

2. Accent the dark vein structure by purposely tarnishing a leaf with liver of sulfur.

3. Specific liver of sulfur solutions can create wonderful ranges of color from gold, tomagenta, to blue, to purple and black, depending upon the length of time the leaf isexposed to the liver of sulfur solution.

Reinforcement

1. A single leaf should have a layer of Art Clay about 1mm thick to ensure a strong anddurable piece. Grouping leaves into a collage, or adding clay as design elements cansignificantly increase the strength of a piece.

2. Going over the leaf edges with a burnisherstrengthens it and gives it the look offinely finished jewelry.Tip: Make several leaves at once and set them aside. Leaves make great natural accentson jewelry, pottery, or other designs.

Text from ACW

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How to Prevent Future Clogs

After each use of the can (varnish, spraynet or glue) hold the spray can upside down and spraying a small amount after every use. This will clear up the nozzle and play an  important role in keeping it open.

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Bulldog

I would like to share a trick I discovered which provided some good results.

I found that my ring was dull and still showed scratches.  I decided to scrub it with BullDog 0000 (ultrafine) steel wool and all the scratches disappeared. I then cleaned the ring with a cloth, toothpaste and hot water and the results were incredible. This idea came to me as I use steel wool in the stained-glass projects I make.  It is easily found in retail stores like Canadian Tire, Réno-Dépot and the like.

Thanks to Diane Gagnon for this fantastic trick.

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