Fall foliage is pretty on its own.But a new artform emerging out of China is improving on Mother Nature, turning regular dried up leaves into real masterpieces.
According to Dean Prator, president of a leaf art distributor based in the U.S., the leaf carving craft is relatively new. It gained popularity in 1994 when Huag Taisheng, seen as a pioneer of natural leaf engraving art, got a collection of his leaf works recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Creating leaf art takes time and a steady hand. Leaves are chosen from the Chinar tree, which is native to India, Pakistan, and China, and closely resembles the leaves of a Maple.
Each leaf is put through a gruelling 60-step process before it is ready for intricate design work. This includes manually scraping away the outer layer of the leaf until the surface is nearly transparent. This must be done carefully without removing the veins, which add important detail to the leaf carvings.
The finished product is thin and soft, but has the durability of thick paper due to an anti-ageing treatment.
Prator sells customised leaf carvings for anywhere between $99 and $224, depending on complexity.
You can check out all the incredible leaf canvases at leafcarvingart.com.
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