365 Nature – Day 249

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


It’s been awhile since I did any arts and crafts and today I decided would be a good day to do something. Last autumn I dabbled in making plant imprints in clay. Then I made small ones that could be made into pendants or other wearables. My method was to use oven baked clay, roll it out, place a leaf or flower on it, roll the foliage in and peel it off. After it was baked hard, I painted it and then wiped off the excess paint, leaving the veins and details behind. I had limited success, some of the leaves were too dainty to leave good imprints and the paint all wiped off.

Today I made a few more, trying the wipe-off method along with a new idea, sandpaper. Unfortunately I ran out of time to finish working on them today, but I think the combination of methods can work well in the future. I like making plant pressings and this is another way to preserve the details of plants. The three I made today were Sword Fern, Vine Maple and goldenrod.

In the past I did quite a few arts and crafts and some of them are on my Pinterest page: Things I Made.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.
Kelly Brenner
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