After much experimentation on some of the trial leaves I made as to a convincing skin that captured something of the feel of the real leaves I finally settled on this finely chiselled effect. I used a tiny half round gouge shape about 0.3 mm across the cutting face...that'll give you an idea of the size of the lines. The whole assembly is just under 4 cm wide and is in fine silver.
I should also acknowledge a source of inspiration for this effect. I was browsing the net for images of ginko leaves when I stumbled on the blog of a young lady, designer jeweller called Abigail A. Percy. It was some of her beautiful, and delicate, drawings of leaves that had caught my attention. The slightly abstract treatment she had developed perfectly reflected where I was looking to go with this piece. So, thank you Abigail...you inspired me!
If you'd like to see some of Abigail's lovely jewellery creations as well as her drawings you find links to it all, here on her blog.
Now I want to add some tiny spots of gold "foxing" around the edges using fire gilding and will finish off with some sort of toning of the silver. I'm trying to get some sort of blue/green tarnish but it's been a bit elusive thus far...something will work out, eventually ;-)
You can see some more of these sorts of close-up, detail shots here