The Art of Electroforming Leaves

The art of electroforming a real leaf is a delicate process. First, a real leaf is pressed flat and dried. Once it has dried, the leaf’s pulp is removed in a light acid bath which produces the result of a leaf "skeleton". This skeleton is very fragile as it only has the veins of the leaf holding it together. The leaf is then dried once more and then hand painted with a copper based paint (which allows it to be electroformed). The leaf is next submerged in an electrolytic solution and with the magic of the positive/negative charges from electricity, metal deposits onto the copper based surface. This process takes place over a period of three days.

Logically so, if the leaf has fine veining then a "filigree" leaf will result; if a leaf has little veining then the electroformed surface will be solid. Tip: Prolonged electroforming will also result in a more solid form. Taking the extra time during the electroforming process insures the metal deposits are uniform.

The final metallic leaf finish is dependent on the electrolytic solution used. The leaf jewelry Crystal Allure offers have been electroformed in 24kt gold but other variations exist that include sterling silver or iridescent rose gold (which is a combination of 24kt and copper).
Real Oak Leaf Crystal Earrings (E135)
How To Care For Your Leaf Jewelry
Leaves should be cleaned carefully with a warm cloth and not with abrasives to maintain its longevity. Each leaf is unique and special, capturing a part of nature, resulting in a beautiful piece of wearable art. Over a period of time, our 14kt gold electroformed leaf jewelry will age to a deep brown-red.

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Article Source: Designer Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry by Crystal Allure (http://www.crystalallure.com)

5 comments

Miss Val's Creations said...

Interesting process! I love the results of electroforming leaves.

Azure Islands Designs said...

I agree...an interesting process...but well worth the time & effort as the end results are gorgeous!
Have you experimented with this Stephanie?
Cheers

Crystal Allure Beaded Jewelry said...

Thanks for your comments Val & Heather!

Heather -I have not personally done this process yet but like everything, I hope to do it someday! :-)

cheap jewelry making supplies said...

unique and amazing earrings! great job!

The Beading Gem said...

The delicate leaves are so gorgeous! But I don't have the patience for the process!