Though Not To Dissuade You From Using Hypertufa To Cast Leaves, I Do Want You To Be Aware Of Two Issues So You Won’t Be Disappointed When You Unmold Your Leafy Creation
Ok, so what issues am I talking about? They are:
If Either of These Issues are a Concern for Your Leaf Project, Here are Two Proven Solutions …
Add “Quikwall”® (by Quikrete) to your recipe as opposed to plain Portland cement. “Quikwall”® has fibers and a bonding agent in it and allows you to make stronger leaf castings. NOTE: “Quikwall”® may be difficult to find in your area; or
Apply a 1/2 inch layer of concrete mix on the leaf first and DO NOT smooth it out… leave it rough textured. Wait one day. Put metal stock fencing (or similar) over the back of the leaf and apply a 2 inch layer of hypertufa over that. This will produce a leaf with more detail and also will be lighter than a concrete casting.
Now, with the above being taken into consideration, if you DO desire your leaf to end up as “leaf-like” as possible, then I refer you to my page about leaf casting in CONCRETE. This method may provide the results you desire for your project.