Thread: Giant leaves
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Old 11-13-2006, 04:35 PM
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WeiMingKai WeiMingKai is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New York, New York
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Re: Giant leaves

I would begin by googling up faux flowers, artificial plants, and finding out what the nylon/rayon/paper/silk like material used for those.

This page has a history of Faux Floral arts as well as a description of the manufacturing process. If you read how they are made you will get a lot of ideas for what you can and can't do based on how much time and money you plan to expend on yoru project. IE; you will most likely not be paying to have leaf shape dies custom machined for you out of tool steel (and you most likely don't have a die press to use them on either) BUT you could trace/draw your leaf shapes onto cardboard and cut them out for use as master patterns.--> http://www.answers.com/topic/artificial-flower

I am always cheap by necessity, not choice, so my thinking always seeks a lowest cost approach to the problem.
  1. make a wire armature for your branches and stems (make sure it can support the weight of the leaves)
  2. cut out leaf patterns from paper or cloth (paint them if necessary)
  3. glue up your leaves & fix them to the armature
  4. let dry and then 'pose' the plant to appear realistic

A craft supply stores often have faux flowers/silk flowers pre-made - you could always buy a sample and 'dissect' it to see how it was done.

PS: instead of rice paper - how about the tissue paper used for wrapping shirts/clothes in department stores - if you went 2 ply on the wrapping tissue and applied greatly thinned glue with a spray bottle between the plys you could probably get reasonalby strong results - or you could mix materials - cheesecloth 'mesh' bonded to tissue 'filler' over wire support might yield a nice translucent leaf.

Good Luck
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