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Preserving May Apples???

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by Alicia L, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. Turkey season is almost here, and my husband said I could try to mount my own turkey if I get one. I have been thinking about the base for this turkey, and was wondering if there was any way you can preserve a few may apples to go along with the turkey for a woods scene. I have purchased a handful of morel mushrooms, and I think the may apples would be neat to go along with it. I didn't know if anyone would know where to get some, or some way to preserve some...
     
  2. ttt
     

  3. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    I thought about trying to preserve some this spring. If not I plan to work with trashfish on reproducing some. He mkes some awsome watter lilys and other habitat.
     
  4. I thought about trying the never say dye stuff, and maybe some kind of something to stiffen the upper part (leaf), and put a wire in the stem. I have no idea if that would work. Never have done any kind of plant preserving before... Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  5. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    I have used Nature by designs - forever natural preservative owned by Larry Wardo. I have had very good success with it and I have never heard anything good about the never say dye. I dont have very high hopes for the May apples because I dont think they are strong enough. But I am going to try.
     
  6. mk

    mk -30 below

    3,784
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    IL
    i think what your going to have to do is mix up plaster put a blob of it on the table then press the top side of the mayapple leaf onto the plaster then peel it off when its almost cured, then use chicago 501 latex and brush on the plaster mold.
     
  7. Lisa M

    Lisa M Swing like no one is watching...lol

    Okay...curiosity piqued...what the heck is a May apple? We've got grannysmith, golden delicious...red delicious...but many of those trees haven't even blossomed in May. I'm guessing this isn't even an apple? So what is it?
     
  8. Okay, as I said, I have no experience whatsoever :-\...What exactly is Chicago 501, and are you saying that I should try to mold a may apple leaf? I guess I need a lot of help...

    May apples are those green plants you see in the woods in the spring around the same time you find morel mushrooms. Sometimes they have a little yellow sphere in the middle on top of the leaf the size of a (quarter?) Correct me in my description if I am wrong, someone. I have never closely looked at one in a long time, just want some in my turkey setup. I have attached a picture. Much better than me trying to describe it! ::)
     
  9. Lisa M

    Lisa M Swing like no one is watching...lol

    OHHHHHHHHH those things! I've seen them in catalogs. We don't have them around here...morels that I've ever seen either. :( We do get some big ole puff balls...and the one red topped white dotted fungi that grow like shelves/tiers on tree trunks.

    Anyways...thanks for explaining May Apples to me Alicia. ;) Didn't remember that's what they're called...do they taste like apples? Weird name.
     
  10. mk

    mk -30 below

    3,784
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    IL
    yeah i would try molding the leaf. ask rick carter how he did the pumpkin leaves, im sure he molded them somehow
     
  11. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Molding is the option I spoke of. Same procedure and I think the same material Trashfish used. Now I am really thinking about spring.
     
  12. Could somebody with a little time on their hands explain to me how to go about molding the leaves for the may apples. I have no idea even where to begin, as in what supplies I would need...besides the actual may apple, of course. ;)
     
  13. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    MK stated a very simple approach. This will give you a pretty good rubber plant that you can paint to the desired color.

    Use plastic tubing for the stem with a wire and paint it also.
     

  14. When do your apples blossom? I live in the "Apple Capitol of the World" and most of our apples blossom the first of may. We even have a big huge festival called apple blossom on the first weekend in May. LOL
    Travis
     
  15. Where would I get the latex molding material? Can I get it at a local hardware store or do I have to order it from a taxidermy supplier?
     
  16. Lisa M

    Lisa M Swing like no one is watching...lol

    Alicia, I don't know if it would work with May apples because I've never needed to mold a plant, but Jknuth did a great tutorial on making silicone molds. Here is a link: http://www.taxidermy.net/forum/index.php/topic,39157.0.html Like I said, I don't know if this method would work for these sweet looking little plants. But you could try it.

    With the plaster, here's what I would do...like I said, I haven't made a mold of a plant though, so this is sheer guess work. Put some sort of release agent on your leaf...thin coat of vaseline, maybe pam cooking spray that you spread out with a paint brush, something to let the plant release from the mold. I have old legos that I keep to contain pourings of Bondo etc. So I'd make a container out of the legos big enough to hold the leaf. Mix the plaster with cool water. If you mix it with hot, it will harden or kick sooner. I like to have a little more working time with my stuff. If you can do it quicker, great. Also, mix your plaster in a clean bowl each time. Any old bits of plaster will for some reason that I don't fully understand, affect the kick time of the new plaster you're making. So mix up the plaster. Pour it in the lego form. It won't take much plaster I'm thinking.

    Once the plaster is in the form, set your leaf in it. Make sure your edges don't get covered by the plaster or you might have a hard time getting your leaf out. Let the plaster harden. It sounds like some folks pull the leaf before it hardens fully. I am guessing here again, but if you let the plaster harden fully before pulling the leaf, you'll be less likely to mess up the details.

    The fresher your May Apples are before you make a mold of them, the better your finished product will be.

    To make the actual leaves from your mold, I would first coat the mold with a couple coats of white glue. Plaster is porous and might suck up whatever you made the leaf out of. Then once the glue is dry, put a coating of a release agent on the mold. Then (thinking of Jknuth's method of mixing acrylic paint & silicone) mix your silicone and some green paint. Mix it really well. Then before it starts to kick, put the colored silicone in the plaster mold. Don't make your leaf too thick, or too thin. You can precut an old drier sheet to the size of the leaf, and once your silicone is in there, lay the sheet across the back and smooth it down into the silicone.

    Hopefully you'll be able to get many many leaves out of your one mold. I don't think you'd be able to do small flowers this way. Much too much detail on the insides of the petals etc.

    If anyone knows a better way, please tell us how. Thank you. I hope that helped a little Alicia. Good luck & have fun. ;)

    Fishhunt...that I remember, our apples don't bloom until late May or even into June. :( (We had a huge snowstorm while we were watching 4th of July fireworks back in 1992, so really, it's prone to freezing any time of year.) The peach trees go earlier down in Grand Junction/Palisade, and sometimes they get frozen off for their troubles. Lilacs don't go until late late April to early June some times. But asparagus starts popping out in early April. That one I know because I always pick some fresh for my birthday. The others, I think I'm right about the time of year...asparagus is the only one I'm 100% sure on. ;)
     
  17. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Whatever you do, do not eat them, they are poisonous...also, they are being researched heavily in the quest to cure cancer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_apple
     
  18. Wow, I guess it is much chillier out there. If it gets lower than 60 around the 4th of July the farmers start taking out insurance on their crops.

    The plaster mold idea should work. It works for fish fins. You will have to mold all parts seperatly and then put them back together. If you have problems with placing the leaves and such into the plaster, you can lay them out on some sand and pour the plaster over them. This will give you the exact thickness of the leaf.

    Travis
     
  19. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Joeym- you are both correct and incorrect. Yes they are poisonous but not all the time. I know of a farmers wife that makes jelly out of the apples part when it first develops.
     
  20. Thank you for explaining! I will try that. ;)