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Dusky Rose veiners are life size, and here they are used as a template as well as a veiner. Leaf and petal veiners are all used in the same way. If you wish to make a smaller leaf from any of the veiners, cut inside the impression left in your paste.
The instructions here are a guide only, and these products can be used with more traditional methods.
Paste of your choice (base coloured if required)
Small Rolling pins/Cel Stick/Orchard pin or similar
Orchard pad or similar
Cutting wheel (In my opinion an essential part of your toolkit anyway)
Small pair of sharp scissors (embroidery)
Shaping tool (Dog Bone, Ball tool etc.)
White fat (Trex) or Jem Petal Base
Glue of choice (Egg white, Gum Arabic solution etc.)
Step 1.Colour your chosen paste if required. Use limited amounts of colouring as this can alter the consistency of your paste considerably, and if your paste is too dark in the early stages, no amount of dusting with a pale colour will make it light again. Most leaves and petals are shaded afterwards using petal dusts.
Step 2. Take a piece of paste large enough for the leaf or petal you are making and work the paste well (There should be no dry or cracked areas)Roll the paste into a sausage shape. Dust your work surface very lightly with a cornflour bag or smear with white fat (trex or petal base) and flatten the piece of paste with light pressure from a small rolling pin. You should aim for a thickness of 2-3mm.
Step 3. From the centre of the paste start rolling away from you using a very narrow rolling pin and then start rolling from the other side towards you. The idea is to create a thicker ridge in the centre of the paste to insert your wire. Once you have achieved this, roll away the top half of that ridge till your paste is a uniform thickness around it. You should aim for a ridge which is a third to half the length of your chosen leaf. (for longer leaves this can be extended to three quarters, or the full length of the leaf for added strength)
(For those of you who use a grooved board, roll out your paste as you normally would)
Step 4. Very lightly, and so it is almost unnoticeable, smear the surface of your veiner with white fat. (If you have rolled your paste out on white fat already you need not do this. Over use of white fat may cause problems with colouring your finished leaf or petal, and over use of cornflour may make the paste slip around on the veiner.) If you would prefer to insert your wire before veining the paste, you should do this now.
Lift your rolled out paste from your board and lay the smooth side of the paste on top of the veiner, making sure that the thicker ridge in the paste is lined up with the centre of the veiner.
Step 5. With your forefingers extended, press the paste firmly into the veiner, making sure that the central ridge is not lost. This ensures good definition and also further thins the paste. If you have hot hands and the paste has a tendency to stick to your fingers, use a piece of foam to press the paste onto the veiner. Foam cosmetic pads are excellent for this.
Step 6. Lift the paste off the veiner and turn it over onto your work surface. With the cutting wheel or craft knife, cut out the impression that the veiner has left in the paste. If you find it difficult to navigate deep incuts with the cutting wheel (eg. some of the ivies, geraniums, chrysanthemums) use your small scissors to make the cuts. You can choose to insert your wire at this stage if you wish, or if you prefer to wire the paste before it is veined you should do this before placing the paste over the veiner.(Images showing this method can be found in the clematis tutorial)
Step 7. Transfer the leaf or petal to your softening pad and use your chosen tool soften the edges. Insert wire at this stage if you didn't do it in Step 6. Gently tweak the leaf or petal to create movement and place on the former of your choice until dry or ready to colour.
Variation using a picnic knife for serrated leaves
A lot of leaves have wavy or serrated margins, in this instance a blackberry leaf. This is a simple effect to achieve using a plastic picnic knife which has been bent to a curve using hot water.
Place the heel of the plastic knife at the base of the impression in the paste, follow around the impression with the curve of the knife, always cutting away from you . Do not jab or pull at the paste. This should be a fluid movement. If the edge of the leaf is longer than the blade of the knife, lift off the knife and start again in the place you left off. Turn the paste around and cut the other side of the leaf from the top of the leaf impression, again working away from you. An example (picture) of leaves made using this method can be found here
Cuts using scissors
Some leaves are best cut using a small pair of scissors, the ones I use here have very fine blades. Embroidery scissors are very suitable for this technique. They must be kept clean and free from any residue sugar, or the scissors will drag on the paste and possibly stick. The cuts will also not be fine.
The Finished leaves
I hope that these instructions are concise and easy to follow, but if you are not certain about anything I have included here, or need any further advice, please contact me using the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to assist.
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