Monday, May 19, 2014



Birds love to have water nearby in every season, but in the summertime, they seem to especially enjoy water for frequent drinking and refreshing splashes.  A leaf platter water basin is ideal for this purpose because the water is shallow and the decorative leaves attached to the side made the perfect sundeck for the birds to preen and relax.  In our Hypertufa Studio you learn to make your own leaf platter. This is a creative, fresh twist on typical bird baths and a point of interest in your garden that's far and above typical bird bath projects.

You begin with a stroll through the gardens to collect the leaves you'll use in your casting. My favorite leaves for this project are hydrangea leaves because they can be found in multiple sizes are tough and have deep veining on the back. 
We cast individual leaves on smaller mounds of sand to use as the ornaments for the leaf platter.

The leaves are arranged face-side down on a mound of damp sand.  This hump of sand makes the bowl shape to hold the water in the finish water basin.  The leaves can be arranged in an accidental or an ordered fashion.  Once the mound of sand is covered with leave and thin layer of concrete is pressed onto them to hold them down and capture a perfect impression of their shape and veins in the concrete. 

To finish the platter, a thick layer of hypertufa is patted onto the layer of concrete to add support  and shape the outside of the plater.  The "sandwich of the concrete and the hypertufa make a perfect combination.  The concrete captures the leaf  detail and allows the basin to hold water. The hypertufa adds shape and heft without the weight.Usually basin bottoms are left plain but here old rosette irons were used to stamp a design in ot the bottom and wine corks were inserted as feet.Lyn used huge hosta leaves forger large elegant basin.
Caroline and Chris had us make this custom super large leaf basin.  It makes a stunning water feature with or without  a fountain and pump!Don't miss the chance to make your own leaf platter this summer.  

Join us in one of our Hypertufa Studios at From the Summer's Garden 
Get sign-up info here! This is a great way to reconnect with old friends or enjoy your own personal "staycation." 

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