Oct 25 Smoked leaf prints By Judith

Thanks to Northamptonshire Archives for permission to reproduce this 1950s craft project.

These simple leaf prints look really striking and we’ve transposed the hand-written instructions from 1956. It involves fire and fat, so proceed at your own risk.

Items needed
Enamel or tin plate
Small quantity of lard
Knife
Taper or candle (I prefer taper. There is not as much tallow dripping down.)
3 pieces greaseproof or similar paper for each leaf
Match
Tree or other plant leaf
A duster is also handy

1. With a knife smear the underside of the plate with lard. (If too much fat is used the print will be blotchy and the fat will run off).

2. Then with a lighted taper, black the plate over the fat. (Hold the plate high and the flame from the taper will do the rest).

3. Place leaf on smoked plate.

4. Place a piece of paper over the leaf and rub well, so that all parts of the leaf have a chance to get black.

5. Remove leaf from plate and place on another piece of paper, smoked side down.

6. Take the third piece of paper, place over the leaf and rub. When you think all the black has been rubbed on to the underneath piece of paper, carefully remove the top piece of paper and the leaf and should have a nice smoke print leaf.

‘I do hope you can understand this.’

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