Make a leaf fast with Master Gardener Pat Sollars

DANVILLE-By the end of summer, the perennials, shrubs and trees in your yard may have produced some Jurassic-sized leaves. When you look out the window in January, those leaves will be a distant memory. Fortunately, there is a creative way to preserve what nature has created and enjoy it for years to come. 

Leaf casts make unique and beautiful garden art. They also provide great gifts and make excellent conversation pieces for visitors to your garden. They can be made with all sorts of leaves: hosta, fig, rhubarb, sycamore and more. Large leaves make great bird baths, stepping stones or even fountains. Medium size leaves can be used as candle holders, to hold jewelry or as paperweights. 

Master Gardener Pat Sollars has been making leaf casts for years. She is offering a leaf cast class at Walt’s Acres in Ridge Farm this September. An experienced artisan, she will walk you through the process of making a leaf cast as you make your own cast. This make-and-take class is a two-part class.

Attendees with make a leaf cast on Saturday, September 16 from 9-11 a.m. Your cast will be left to dry for a week, as a wet cast cannot be moved. On Saturday, September 23 (9-11 a.m.), Pat will show you how to paint the dry cast. All materials, including paints and brushes, will be supplied.

The classes will take place at Walt’s Acres in Ridge Farm (800 Orchard St). A $30 per person fee includes all necessary materials to create and paint a cast about 13-15 inches. A variety of leaves will be provided for you to choose from, or you can bring your own. Attendees must prepay to ensure a place in this class. 

Please send your check made out to University of Illinois to the Vermilion County Extension office (3164 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832), or swing by our office to pay by check in person. Call the Extension office at 217-442-8615 for more information.

Proceeds from monthly classes are used to fund Master Gardener programs and community gardens in Vermilion County. 

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need reasonable accommodations to participate call 217-442-8615.


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