“Trees of the Trail” coasters are made from terra cotta polymer clay with the imprint of a real leaf that’s from some of the more populous tree species growing on the trail: sycamore, oak, maple and beech. In fact, the sycamore leaf is from the sycamore tree I sketched in “Sycamore Moon” and the maple leaf is from the tree that holds “The Rope Swing“. I roll and cut the 4″ circles, press the leaf into the surface, bake the coaster and let it cool, then wash layers of natural white acrylic paint over the surface, wipe it down, wash it again, and repeat until the leaf impression holds enough white to be distinguished and the surface has a light patina.
This was a brand new design and an experiment with the technique to get what I was visualizing with actual living leaves, and it worked! I also like that the clay looks like real potter’s red clay even though it’s polymer, but polymer clay is very durable and for a coaster that’s a good thing. Don’t worry about putting down a mug or glass too heavily.
I’m very pleased with how they turned out and look forward to trying this technique with other designs. For now you can purchase one coaster or a set including all four designs.
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