Step 2: Leaf and Fiber Preparation

To get ready to create your piece, do the following:

•    If your leaves and/or branches don’t lay flat you should place them under a heavy book to flatten them.  You may even want to gently break some of the branches to help flatten the plant.  If there are a lot of overlapping leaves consider pruning some to simplify the design.

•    Trace your base glass onto your fiber paper.

•    Place your (now flat) plants onto the fiber paper and make positioning (registration) marks on the fiber paper showing where the leaves will be placed.

You can use either side of the fiber paper (most fiber paper has both a smooth and a rough side).  If you choose to keep the rough side of the fiber paper up, your glass will have a more heavily textured surface on the side that was facing the fiber paper as the glass will take on the texture of the fiber paper it is fired on.

 

Leaves on fiber paper

 

As you’ll see later, this step is important because you’ll want to place your powdered leaves on the fiber paper with as little handling and repositioning as possible.  Don’t worry if the plant extends past the boundary for the bowl design.

At this point your fiber paper should look like this:

 

Marked fiber paper

 

You can now set the fiber paper aside.  You will be placing your powder-coated leaves directly onto this fiber paper.  If your kiln is close to your work table you may want to set the fiber paper on the kiln shelf.  Otherwise, consider putting the fiber paper on a stiff piece of cardboard or piece of glass to make it easy to move once you’re done assembling your Fossil Vitra components.

The next thing we need to do is "coat" the leaves with powder.