Translucent Leaves II

I got a bit closer to what I am looking for today.  I added colored beeswax to the mix.  The best results were from two different techniques.  One, I cast the Gerber print into the plaster mold using epoxy and thin layer of fiberglas for strength.  The epoxy picks up the detail of the bottom of the leaf perfectly, but I can see the fiberglass fibers in the leaf and it is fussy getting the print and mold to match up and not get air bubbles.  Here’s the result:

Beeswax over graphic embedded into epoxy/fiberglas cast

Beeswax over graphic embedded into epoxy/fiberglas cast

The second and best, was with a vacuform acetate leaf with the only one side, rather than both sides of the Gerber prints adhered to it.  Just a note on how to get the Gerber print to stick to the vacuform leaf.  One side of the Gerber has an adhesive backing.  Spray Fantastic on the plastic leaf and then lay down the print.  It won’t stick and you can manuever it until the veins match up exactly and then you squeeze it down onto the leaf. The Fantastic is pushed out to the sides and the adhesive grabs hold of the acetate.  This is where you have to slit the print so it will conform to the curves of the leaf.  I found that a slice into any air bubbles will remove them as well.   The leaf is dropped in the wax and left in the wax pot, maybe for 60 seconds.  (If you don’t let the leaf heat up, heavy wax will build up on it.).  The excess wax is shaken off and, in my case, I used an alcohol lamp to remove even more excess wax.  Here’s the result:

Beeswax over vacuform leaf with graphic.

Beeswax over vacuform leaf with graphic.

I am getting a nice translucency, getting closer to the color, getting a duller surface sheen, and the veining and form is good.  You can see though, that the Gerber print doesn’t conform to the vacuform leaf or into the mold in the first leaf.  I have to slit the print to get it to adhere.  I imagine, this could be extrinsically painted to blend the cuts into the leaf.

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