How To Make Leaves from Metal

A short while back I prepared this short photo tutorial showing how I make leaves from metal. I have use this method whenever shaping leaves that adorn my creations. The tools are minimal and the process is straight forward. The leaf shown was made from copper and I photographed the process in stages to show the simplicity of manufacture, which was less than an hour. I thought this may be of interest to someone who may be interested in making leaves.

First decide on the leaf shape, draw it onto the metal and pierce out the basic shape, The using a straight line punch and a lead block, tap in a central vein. The with a shaped hammer start shaping the first half side of the leaf from it’s rear, hammering alongside the hump of the central vein.

Repeat the shaping hammering on the other half of the leaf rear, then hammer the point of the leaf, from it’s front to slightly turn up the point and add some life to the leaf shape.

Now you have the basic leaf shape, it is time to planish the leaf front and tidy up the final shape, to do this secure a doming punch in a vise, use a punch that has a dome close to the shape of the leaf dome, then gently planish the whole surface.
The planished leaf is now ready for a rough polish, before texturing, I used a dome punch in my flexshaft hammerhead for this texture, then I used a bright cutting scorper the add the final veins.
By James Miller FIPG - © 2011
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