Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cement Leaf Relief

Leaf Relief
This summer my mother and I went to Kiwi Gardens located in Perth, ON. Found here: http://kiwigardens.ca/welcome.htm. We fell in love with a garden art project called “Leaf Relief” created by Deb Stagg. She creates an assortment of garden Leaf ornaments such as bird feeders or bird baths, fountains and stepping stones. Found here: http://www.debstagg.com/leafrelief.htm.

Both my mother and I felt that it looked simple enough that we could figure out how to create them on our own, with some help from the Internet of course.

We began by mixing mortar cement in a standard size wheelbarrow. It is important to make sure the cement isn't too runny/wet. It should be similar to the consistency of brownie mix.

We then created large piles of sand in which we each molded into a form that would support the size of leaf and the desired shape we wanted our cement reliefed leaves to form.  We then laid down plastic and placed our leaves face down so that the veins of the leaf would create the leaf relief in the cement.

It is important to read more details online of the best way to create these leaf reliefs. There are several ways of laying down the cement. What we did was placed handfulls of the cement one by one from the center of the leaf outword. it is important not to have it to think, nomore than 2-1/2" to 3". We also used small chicken wire between the layers of cement to act as extra support.

Once it is left to dry (leaving a plastic bag over it so it doesn't dry to quickly) and the cement is no longer cool to the touch, flip it over onto your sand pile and again leave to dry longer. The leaf will begin to peel off as it drys. A wire brush may be needed to remove any remaining leaf. A sealer needs to be applied in order to leave outside, especially if used for a bird bath.

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