These beautiful ceramic leaves have been hanging in our foyer for the past several weeks. I finally decided I should photograph them and share them with you. First of all, I have done this project for the past several years, but never have they turned out this beautifully...and I have to admit it was by pure accident. My sixth graders made these leaves one day in art by pressing a real leaf into their clay to create the texture. They cut out the shape of the leaf while it was pressed into the clay. After they dried, I bisque-fired them and had them ready for the surface treatment. In the past, I have used black glaze to fill in the veins and the texture with a colored glaze on top. But, with budget cuts, I am in short supply of glazes this year. So, I had the students use black acrylic paint to fill in the veins and wipe off the surface with a damp sponge so the paint only goes into the texture. Next, I had the students use watercolor paint to add color. This is where the "happy accident" comes in. When the watercolor was first applied, it looked nice...a suggestion of color...not too vibrant. But, when it dried, it looked like mud! Chalky-mud! So, I was going to have the students repaint them until I tried putting a gold glaze on top of the watercolors. And, voila! It made the color come to life while adding a shimmer of gold. Perfect!!!