Making the Leafy Tree Vase - Part 2

In Part 1 of this project, I covered the glass and started forming the tree roots. Now it's time to finish the trunk and add flowers and leaves.

…Stacking, packing and extruding - I lost track of how many times I did this.

Placing each root with care.

More and more.

I use a rubber tipped clay shaper to reach where my "log fingers" can't.

Adding the last bit to the trunk.

Finished roots.

Placing the branches.

The finished trunk - finally - I wonder how many curls and snakes I shaped.

Now I start adding the leaves. I cut moderately thin slices from the leaf cane and then using my needle tool (my own invention of a needle tipped mechanical pencil - it's like a real pencil - I just have to remind myself not to make any notes with it!) I add tiny grooves to the sides. I later found this wasn't necessary, that when I dent each section it forms ruffles with or without the grooves.

Placing each leaf with care.

More leaves added and still so many more to go.

All the leaves in place - this time I did count - just for fun: there are 135 leaves on this tree!

And now for the flowers. I cut slices and then bring the pink base together.

Using my trusty upholstery needle, I pick up each petal, lay it on the tree and then press it into place with my finger tip.

Next I add texture.

The finished tree. When I started this design it was to be a forest tree with sparrows, owls and woodpeckers, but I think it has more the look of a tropical tree - it's funny how designs develop sometimes. So instead of sparrow nests and speckled eggs this tree is going to be the abode of toucans. (Next time I'll try to stick to sparrows - actually this design has giving flight to a lot of new ideas…)

One last look at the trunk. Next time you see this hole it will be a toucan nest. I'm off to create the toucans…

See Part 3 of this project here.

Dogwood Tealights

For this next project I'm using two ceramic tealight holders about 2 1/2 in. tall. My inspiration for this design is my dogwood and pearl necklace.

I begin by making the dogwood flowers. These are a bit smaller than I've made before. First I roll tiny balls all of uniform size. Each of these balls is then rolled into a tiny snake. I gently arrange eleven of the snakes together.

Now I gently roll the arrangement to smooth the sides a bit, and then I cut off the top - this is my center.

Twenty-one centers prebaked and ready for the petals.

Shaping the dogwood flowers. Again I roll little balls of uniform size, this time larger. Each ball is flattened and shaped like a tiny tear drop. Using an upholstery needle, I add a tiny groove and curl the top edge. Next I place two petals on a larger needle for flower shaping.

Adding the petals. They are carefully pressed together and spread open a bit.

I slowly and gently twist the petals off the needle and add the center - only twenty left to go!

And here they are - a couple hours later.

Now to cover the tealights. A sheet of white clay is wrapped over the sides and pressed into place.

Next I cover the base.

Two covered tealight holders.

Adding the gold curls. First I scatter the flowers over the surface. Each curl is rolled by hand and curled. Holding the tail end, I lower the curl into place and press it on. I put the flowers back on briefly to see if I'm liking the design.

The last curls.

Dogwood flower placement on the large holder.

Two tealight holders ready for berries.

First I form the stems. Then I make small dents to hold the berries. I want them to stand out from the holder rather than just lay against it - the dents help them to do this.

Adding the berries…