Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Relieving some aggression

I've been trying out some new techniques as I prepare for the class I'm teaching to my daughter's kindergarten class, and with the surplus of leaves in our yard, it seemed like a good time to try leaf pounding.  Here's a Japanese maple leaf on untreated muslin:

I had the best luck with the leaves that were the juiciest - the ones I picked right off the tree worked even better than ones from the same tree that had already fallen.  I got a purply-brown (the Japanese maple), a pretty bright red (from a burning bush plant), and even a spring green (from a sweet gum tree that hadn't turned yet).

I was surprised by just how much pounding was required to get this to work, and by how tricky it was to find leaves that were flat enough to show up well.  Anything with really raised veins prevented the hammer from reaching the non-veined parts easily, which gave a pretty bad transfer.  You can even see in my "good" ones above that I ran out of interest before I was able to completely fill in the outline of the leaf.

I can't decide whether this would be a good project for the class or not.  On the plus side, who doesn't have fun with hammers?  On the minus side, do I want to be responsible for eight 5-yr-olds armed with hammers?  Probably not.  Maybe I'll write it up as a bonus project to try at home ... yeah, that's the ticket!

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