Cycle of Life
Cycle of Life
Gilded Leaf Sculpture
Although there are many types of leaves and many types of trees that inhabit the Earth, the life cycle is much the same for all of them. The life of a leaf is cyclic, with its life and death dictated by the seasons. Most leaves are born in the spring, live throughout the summer and die in the autumn.
In preparation for winter, the tree seals off the leaf's attachment point on the branch so that no water or minerals can be delivered to the leaf and no sugar sap can be delivered to the tree.
The leaf begins to die from a lack of nutrients. The leaves turn colour, from green to gold to purple, and finally to brown. The skin and stem of the leaf becomes brittle and the leaf then falls from the tree. The dead leaves begin to break down in the elements, returning nutrients back into the soil for the next generation of leaves.
Immortalising the rich autumn colours in this corylus (hazel) leaf was achieved by gilding in pure silver that has been tinted and marbled along with metal waxing.
Modelled on a real Hazel leaf, this piece captures the essence of the leaf through its life cycle, preserving the breakdown, decay and fractures that occur throughout the leaf with the reverse of the leaf simulating droplets of condensation. The season culminates with the hazel tree producing the fruits of its labour .... the cobnut.