I obtained a BA in Fine Arts from West Georgia College in 1973. Upon graduation I realized I had no directly marketable skills. Even though I continued to paint I worked for next few years as bartender at Sheraton Hotel (now Doubletree). I met my future husband at this time and went to work at his company. He owned Kickoff Publishing Co. which produced a college football newsletter and was founded in 1952. The company had grown to include a direct mail service. I worked with him for 15 years. Upon his death in1999 the business passed to me. I ran the business for the next 6 years. In 2005 I sold the business and spent much of the next few years taking care of my mother and then my second husband.
A couple of years ago I came across an article outlining the works of Rachel Dein: plaster castings of spring flowers. I saved the article for some reason. About a year ago I came across the article and decided to research it further --on YouTube. I had no success with her in particular but did locate an artist in Russia who had numerous videos demonstrating his work. There was no audio: only brief subtitles. But it was enough to inspire me to begin. Needless to say first pieces didn't survive the process. But slowly through trial and error the innate characteristics of dealing with the medium were learned.
It should be noted in the case of pieces which have been "leafed", the product used is not real gold leaf. Rather it is a commonly used product called "imitation gold schabin." Cost of true gold leaf would be prohibitive.