Capturing Fall

This Autumn in Northern Utah has been nothing short of spectacular. September's blue skies and moderate temperatures have persisted into October, with the added bonus of fall color. Our mountains are ablaze with firey red scrub oaks, brilliant orange maples, and bright yellow aspens that sparkle in the breeze.

We're fortunate to have been granted this Indian summer. I keep wondering when our luck will run out, and I know that our first snowfall will soon blow in on the wind. That, and a tutorial on the Helios web site about the technique of fossil vitra ( are what inspired me to capture some of this fall color in glass to enjoy all year long.

I started by cutting a few leaves from a Japanese maple in the front yard and from a ginkgo tree in a friend's yard.

I sprayed the leaves, one at a time, with an inexpensive brand of pump hairspray. Before the hairspray had a chance to dry, I generously sprinkled the leaves with powdered frit. The maple leaves were coated in bronze opal and the ginkgo in green opal.

 Each leaf was placed one at a time on a Thinfire-lined kiln shelf and topped with a 4x4" square of clear glass.


I fired the pieces, 6 tiles at a time, according to the following schedule:

Hold (minutes)

(The schedule is somewhat aggressive, since the pieces were small and single-layered.)

I'm excited about the possibilities of these leaf imprints in glass. As they are (or perhaps with another layer of glass), the small tiles can be used as coasters. The tiles can also be used as part of the design for a larger plate or bowl (I've got one cooking in the kiln as I type), or two or more tiles can be strung together for a sun catcher or wall hanging.

I intended the piece below to be added to my Etsy shop, but the moment I hung it on the wall to photograph it I knew the piece was going nowhere. It looks lovely hanging by my front door! I drilled holes in the corners of each tile with a Dremel fitted with a diamond bit (the glass was submerged in water to keep it cool). Large jump rings were used for the glass corners and smaller jump rings were used to connect the tiles. A length of brass chain was added for hanging.

I hope I've offered a little "food for thought" as you look around at what nature has to offer this fall. Perhaps you can capture a little fall of your own!

aka, The Jester

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