Making a Leaf

A leaf is a fairly easy way to add a bit of decoration to the end of a rod. A leaf can be very detailed and realistic, but even a fairly crude leaf will really enhance the appeal of the object it is added to. Start by making a "neck" near the end of the rod; then taper the end so you have a cone-shaped blob of metal at the end of the rod. (The end piece can be round or square. It is usually easier to make it square.) The shape of this end piece will have a big effect on the shape of your leaf. If you don't like how the leaf comes out, try making this blob a different shape. Do give it a nice sharp point, unless you want your leaf to have a rounded point.

Now flatten the cone-shaped blob. It should become fairly leaf-shaped. If you flatten it gradually, you can adjust the shape some as you go.

For adding detail to the leaf, you need a veining tool (basically a blunt chisel) and three hands. Unless you have an assistant, this is a great time to use a holdfast. A cutting plate on the anvil is not really necessary, but I like to use it just in case. Use the veining tool to punch a groove down the center of the leaf, and other grooves going from the center groove to the edges. I tend to be pretty basic, but you can get as realistic as you like.

And there is your leaf!

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