Thursday, December 3, 2015

Samara Texturing

I was doing the final raking of leaves last week when I focused on the abundance of samaras from the Japanese maple in my front yard.
These winged seeds are quite lovely...
and I thought that they might be a good rolling mill candidate.

Because it's inexpensive, I do all texture testing with copper.
Two small pieces of copper were cut and annealed.
I arranged a selection of samaras on one piece...
which was then covered by the other copper piece before using the mill.
I had hoped that the entire samara would be able to pass through the mill, but I learned that a samara seed is just too tough of a nut to crack under pressure.
I couldn't advance the mill while maintaining enough pressure to capture an impression of the wing portion of the samara.

A little surgery with my X-acto knife removed the seeds
and I was able to crank the assemblage though the rolling mill with no difficulty.
After cleaning the copper, it was soaked in a liver of sulfur bath, turning the metal black with instant patina.
I'm liking the delicate texture and now think I have to get out and collect more of the samaras before the first hard frost.

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