Destructive Testing

We got in some new leaf shapes, and they are very cool: large, but light. One of the things that concerned me, though, is that I was a little worried that they were fragile, that they might bend and break or tear.

We certainly don’t want to be selling items that are easily broken or destroyed, for the same reason that we don’t want to use them! If you’re going to make the effort to use something, the least it can do it last! I mean, really!

So, I selected a leaf at random to be my victim! I started at the top, near the hole, to try and break it. I noticed a faint crackling noise, which worried me. I folded the leaf back and forth, flexing the metal, and torn it – ripping the two halves away from each other. I finally got it to start to tear, but it didn’t go far – and I had to go and get wire cutters to actually get inside!

Once in, I found the source of the crackling noise – the original leaf! The process of electroplating organic items (like a leaf or a bug) or non-metallic items (like a glass bead) involves painting a metallic conductive paint on the item – and then putting it in a conductive solution with the metal that you want to plate on to it, and running a low voltage current through it for several hours. (I know this all because I took a class on electroplating beads – which we intend to offer again, so if you are interested in signing up for this class – do let us know!)

The leaf, of course, is now seriously dried up, and will crackle a little, inside it’s metallic armor. Of course, it lends absolutely no structural strength to the leaf, so the crackling is no indication of weakness – and will stop once it gets all broken up.

I was quite gratified to see how strong these are – no worries about their durability! You can even bend them a little to refine the shape if you wish!

I’m sure you are re-leafed to know this. 😉 (Sorry – can’t resist a leaf pun.)

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