While slicing stalks of rhubarb to make into a custard dessert, I started examining the large, heart-shaped leaf. Have you ever examined a rhubarb leaf while you are cutting off the crimson colored stalk? The veins are very distinct and deep.
I started pondering a craft idea. This was in the summer of 2008. I purchased dry cement mix. I started searching for the perfect heart-shaped leaf in a variety of sizes. I also cut a small hosta leaf. I cast the rhubarb and hosta leaf (vein side down) onto the wet cement. When dry, I pealed the leaf off of the cement mixture. This wasn’t an easy task. I loved the result though and could envision the cast painted.
I started searching for more perfect leaves in the garden. I was in my glory casting leaves. My friends thought I was a bit “unique” to even try the process. I had just buried both of my parents and was still in a state of anguish so they thought it best to let me mix cement and create … whatever made me forget the sorrow in my heart. They were soon shocked with delight at the results of my painted creations and wanted to place orders. I had never thought about going into the rhubarb “creation” business before. I only was trying a new idea. I was given a new name, the rhubarb lady!
Here is a photo of one of the largest rhubarb leaves I have cast. I was thinking of making it into a bird bath but it has never left my end table. I have left it the natural color with just a hint of gold paint to enhance it. I place decorative items inside of the leaf to go with the seasons and enjoy it daily. I marvel at the size of this leaf and that I actually cast it without it breaking.
Some of the leaves have been used for stepping stones in gardens, some for trivets, some for serving baked items, and others for strictly decorative purposes.
Today, I had the pleasure of having some visiting LHS class members of 1960 arrive to Litchfield. They had heard about my rhubarb creations, Sweet Conclusions greeting cards and Reflections Upon the Waters of Life book and called me inquiring about looking and purchasing. What a delightful group of ladies. They live in different areas of the United States but stay in touch with each other; getting together yearly for a reunion. This year they came back to Litchfield, Minnesota. Thanks ladies for arriving to see my work. What an honor to also have taken your photo at Anderson Gardens.
Signing off now to get my creative juices flowing to start painting on an order for rhubarb leaves, Sweet Conclusions Photography plus do some PR for some British author named Gavin Hill!
Have a great day. Until next time,