Last year during the months of January & February I spent several days collecting Oregon Ash leaves for a coat project. The finished coat was called “Winter’s Remains” and received first place in textile during the Howland Community Open in Corvallis, OR (to see images, please look back in the archives of March 2009). This year I have lost some interest in pursuing another coat of the same leaves until last Sunday. While we were clearing the blackberry brambles I discovered huge numbers of leaves in “mint” condition. During January I checked the condition of ash leaves in other close locations and found them not to be decayed enough.
What would be considered “mint” condition? I collect leaves that have lost most of their structure through the natural weathering/winter process. Typically all that remains are the skeleton forms. Here are a couple of photos of what I search for. Many of the leaves have other plants starting to grow through their remaining structure or have bonded to muddy depressions.
Some leaves have completely lost everything except the vein structure. Some still have sections that are opaque, which is also nice, or dark circles probably caused by mold or fungi on the surface.
George helped in his own way.
The collecting yielded two 5 gallon buckets of leaves and a very sore lower back.
I’ll probably collect yet another bucket because I don’t have the faintest idea what to make. Ash leaves can be used many months later so I’m not worried they will spoil. The oak leaves collected during November to January will need to be used first.