Braving the Elements and Gathering Leaves

Artist Cassandra Tondro

Hello Friends!

The picture above is me braving the elements and collecting fallen leaves in the freezing wind after last week’s rain.

After a rain is the perfect time to gather leaves. They’re fresh and pliable, and the wind brings down a lot of them. I found many Sycamore and Ironbark Eucalyptus in the park where I walk.

I’m working on a new tutorial — an introduction to leaf prints on silk. It will be a month or two before the tutorial is done. In the meatime, I’m immersed in the fun part, which is doing experiments and learning about what works and what doesn’t work so well.

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been doing. I don’t use powdered metal mordants for my leaf prints, but I do use iron nails and copper pipe oxidized in jugs of white vinegar.

The pictures below show the same leaves printed on silk using plain white vinegar, copper in vinegar, and iron in vinegar.

Eucalyptus Leaf Prints

Ironbark Eucalyptus leaf print using plain vinegar

Eucalyptus Leaf Prints

Ironbark Eucalyptus leaf print using copper in vinegar

Eucalyptus Leaf Prints

Ironbark Eucalyptus leaf print using iron in vinegar

Copper gives prints with green tones, and iron gives darker prints with an ochre yellow background. More to be revealed when this tutorial is complete.

What are your plans for the holidays this year? My plan is to keep it simple, relaxed and easy! I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. What a timely post for me. I just received some silk scarves in the mail yesterday which I am hoping to dye with flowers or vegetables. No fresh leaves here in Ohio. I can’t wait to see your tutorial.

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