Luminous Fossils

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Luminous Fossils
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Shine on! Learn to create “fossilized” pendants, ornaments, charms, and more. Just press natural “found” materials into soft clay, and apply powdered pigment "sediment" to make them glow.



  1. Select leaves, seeds, shells, and other natural materials for making imprints. Avoid delicate flower petals, which may not withstand imprinting pressure.
  2. Start with a clean, dry surface protected with a poster board or plastic sheet that will not move when rolling — a large cutting mat provides an excellent surface as well.
  3. Roll clay into a 1" diameter ball, then flatten it with a rolling pin.
  4. Place the leaf on the clay, then roll over it a few times until it is securely pressed into the clay.
  5. Use your finger or a small, soft brush to pick up powdered pigment from the jar. Use small amounts to avoid waste and mess — a little bit goes a long way! Smooth the pigment over the clay and back of the leaf, gently rubbing the pigment into the clay.
  6. Remove the leaf. The “fossil” imprint will be the original color of the clay, but may be tinted with a contrasting color if desired. Trim the edges of the clay with a knife — or leave as is for a more natural look.
  7. If desired, turn the clay over to apply pigment to the back, and create a hanging hole before the clay dries.
  8. Allow to dry for approximately 24 hours, then seal with a matte or gloss varnish.