I got this idea from the Utah Woodturning Symposium, specifically Raleigh Lockhart's presentation. It entails cutting a leaf shape on a scrollsaw then turning it on the lathe.
My leaf plate is a grape leaf about 6 inches in diameter and about 1 inch tall. It is turned from maple with a lacquer finish.
My process: 1. Find a good shape from leaves in my yard or on the internet. 2. Prepare a pattern on my computer, including finding the center of the leaf. 3. Preparing the wood and attaching the pattern to the wood. 4. Sawing the leaf shape on the wood with a scrollsaw. 5. Mounting to the lathe against a wood faceplate with tail stock pressure. 6. Shaping the bottom and creating a mounting tenon. 7. Reversing into a scroll chuck and shaping the top and interior. 8. Reversing again to clean up the foot 9. Sign the completed turning and finishing.
My wife likes this leaf plate. Therefore, it is a success. :)