Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Leaves, Me Alone

The price tags on them say they are $7.99 a big, clustered stem. Could it be I spent about $90 bucks on leaves for the Tree?! (That plus the 6-7 tubs of FlexAll at the same price, plus the plumbing pipes armature inside, the Tree in raw costs come in so far at about $150) Woo, priceless.

In addition to painting on another quart of cement on the Answer Tree today, I also brought out the Tree's bushel of silk oak leaves, purchased downtown a couple years ago, gone quite dusty. There were about 9-10 "stems" of about 30 leaves in a variety of sizes and shades of green on each stalk. I cut them all off the plastic stems in their clusters of three (as seen on the bottom two photos) and sorted them roughly by size, from largest to smallest.

I took a couple and stuck them on branches to test the method I had in mind for putting them on. It's going to work great. There are a few steps I'll need to take to process the leaves before I put them on though.

I'm going to try painting the undersides with a reddish mixture of matte medium and crimson acrylic to cover over the plastic veining the leaves are made with. Plastic will not do in Halfland. Many of the leaves are glued onto the veins askew so I'm tempted to remove them paint them separately and have the added benefit of keeping the veins a lighter shade, and then gluing them back together with matte medium. If that works, That's what I'd like to do.

I'll also be trying a few treatments to the topsides too, even going so far as to reprint the vein effect on the top with a custom made rubber stamp (yes, I have carving rubber tiles here in the unstumpable shop!) I have to process the leaves until they no longer feel store bought or show any sign of being manufactured. It's still worth it to have bought them though because it saved me many hundreds of hours trying to cut out the intricate shapes by hand!

I learned something KEY while deconstructing the stems today. I assumed the large leaves would grow on the bottom most branches and the smallest on the finest branches at top. WRONG! It seems that instead nature prefers to mix it up and will sprout and grow where the getting's good. So, I plan now to follow that touch of realism and mix the sizes along each branch, keeping sure to put the very smallest only at the highest tips.

All sorted, all sorts, and nuts! The size-sorted leaves stand ready for processing now, can't wait. These silk oak stems even came with real acorns!

"There is not a particle of life that does not carry poetry within it."
--Gustave Flaubert


  1. Man, Shelley, the tree is growing beautifully! One thing - as great as those leaves look, I hope they don't cover up all the fantastic shapes you built so carefully in the tree! Be sure to let it show through here and there!

  2. YAY, Mikeee!! There you are! yay. You've been reading? yay. Hearing your opinion means the world to me. I can't even explain what a difference it makes, like having a partner, in a distant way.

    Thanks, yes, I will make sure the branch shapes remain in view. I love them too.

    All this time I was afraid that the amount of leaves I bought would all go on and be sparsely parsley.

    But now I estimate the amount to be plentiful.

  3. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais

  4. Thanks, Rodrigo, your t-shirt company looks fun.

  5. Hah! Wow, what language is that? Spammish?!!

    Yeah, of course I'm still watching Shellsy! Gotta get my 1/2land fix!

  6. My trees leaves will be Sparsley Parsley!


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