Posts Tagged ‘dyeing with maple leaves’

More ecoprints on paper from plants of the Subasio

November 11, 2013

At Arte Studio Ginestrelle, my studio set up for printing on paper was dependent on found materials, whatever could be repurposed for steaming papers and textiles. I used wire-mesh screen material scrunched up in a pot or a lasagna pan with a few inches of water below and a large terracotta tile for a lid. A Gypsy Campfire was not an option because we were located in the Regional Park of the Subasio and thus subject to strict forest fire controls. My heat source was propane, the same as we used in the house for cooking (when not using the wood stove). It was a simple and effective set up in an outside barn studio. With a daily temperature of around 75 degrees, that was no hardship!

A pot with wire screen bent to fit (and it makes interesting grid prints, too)

 

Iron bits to make rust prints; abundantly available around this former three storey farm house ( built to house a family of ten) :

 

…The bundles of textile or paper were for reasons of practicality on the small side. This textile bundle had been simmered in some of the plentiful walnuts strewn under the trees on the property. I usually stacked my paper bundles six sheets of papers high, weighing the stack down with a rock on top of a tile. I bundled paper and textile in thick white linen thread and used it later to sew my Artist Books, after it had taken on pigments:

 

I used a lot of different locally available papers, some unavailable to me here in Ottawa. To my surprise, the quality Fabriano paper known worldwide was just not available in Assisi or Perugia nearby, nor in Florence – the latter because the art supply shop was closed when we visited it. (Businesses often close from 1 – 3 pm in the afternoon as well as on Saturday and Sunday). I used thicker papers ( over 300 gms) to enclose my bundles; from these I obtained prints from pigments leaking through the stack. (Fabriano is about two hours drive from Assisi towards the Adriatic at Ancona. )

Here are some samples of my papers that were printed in the first week or so of my residency when I intentionally printed only one kind of plant on each page or between two pages. This was to enable me to judge the colours I could obtain without the colour mixing that occurs when you bundle several plants together.

Post ecoprinting, I often treat paper and textiles surfaces as paintings, taking the colours and forms in directions I choose as counterpoint to the spontanaity in colour and form that is the result of an eco print.

After printing this first set of papers, I enriched their colours in various ways: by using iron as a modifier and painting on iron liquor: by resteaming the papers with other leaves or by using the same type of leaves again and steaming them longer or under more pressure; and by applying natural dye colour (e.g., madder) as powder sprinkled on or as liquid, painted on.

These papers are in their early stages of development in the layering. Later, along with the eco printed textiles, they will be layered with embroidery and taken along other colour roads.

 

The grid prints are from the screen mesh and from a metal rack during the first printing. For layered colours, I made second and third printings. Rust and madder were painted on to give more colour post-printing; squishing blue coloured berries on top of the print introduced some complementary blue shades beside the yellows and oranges.

 

 

I enjoyed the “distressed” effects on some of the thinner papers caused by the high heat in the steambath and the fact that the paper sometimes tore or developed holes. The distressed surfaces and broken colours recalled for me fresco surfaces that have faded or flaked off over the centuries. These papers will form the content of more work on that “distressed fresco” theme now that I am back in my home studio.

Meantime, here are some more examples of “Little Plants of the Subasio” gathered together as pages of botanical scrolls, or destined to be:

Italian Maple (Acer opalus):

 

Rusted pages with Rosa canina (Wild/Dog Rose) and a “ginestrelle” seed pod:

 

 

Rust print:

 

 

Italian Maple with Oak (Quercus robur) modified with iron to give black:

 

 

Blackberry smooshed on maple:

 

 

Maple with iron:

 

 

Dogwood with iron:

 

 

Paper stack barrier sheet: with leaked colour from maple and madder.

 

 

Walnut (Jugland regia) with Dogwood berries and iron:

 

 

Walnut leaf and fern with iron:

 

 

Not sure- maybe maple…Did not take good notes on that one! The blue is Dogwood berries.

 

 

Sicilian Sumac (Rhus coraria)

 

 

Fern, Blackberry and iron:

 

 

Maple, iron and Blackberry:

 

 

Fern, maple and iron:

 

 

Collection: Maple, oak and vine leaves; blackened with iron liquor painted on, post printing.

 

 

Next time: More pages for “Little Plants of the Subasio: October Scrolls” Artist Books

 

Books, boxes and eco prints

August 8, 2013

Time to catch up on reports about studio work! Where did July go? Well, this month took me and Husband on a new adventure. We have sold our house and have (almost) bought another, much smaller and with a much smaller garden…so lots of work ahead of us, sorting and recycling and, O Lord help us, DESTASHING…But somewhere in between the house selling and house hunting I managed to fit in some July eco prints – for the good of my soul and my sanity – challenging myself to work with wool, (What a great distraction from the Task At Hand…) Thanks to the generosity of James Dennison, eco printer extraordinaire, who sent me some wonderful pre-felt yardage (second-hand wool is hard to come by), July did not pass without an eco print or two…

To start:, A coiled pre-felt: the coreopsis leaks red…the strings were iron-dyed and made their own marks:

 

Three pre-felt fragments, printed with Black Walnut, Golden Rod, Purple Sandcherry, Coreopsis, Rose and Sumac:

 

 

Detail – greens, blues and teals from Prunus cistena: red from Coreopsis verticillata, yellow from sumac and Golden Rod:

 

 

A little silk habotai with coreopsis and Purple Sancherry:

 

 

My friend Carmella Rother, a felt artist, tried eco printing for the first time on her felted and embroidered merino. We had a fun session at my studio, with many lovely results. Even a first-time “student” print can succeed beautifully, as you can see. Carmella is captivated! She is now experimenting with eco prints on her felted vessels

 

Here, coreopsis and rose leaf with iron bitsmon felted merino:

 

 

String embossments on felt with eco prints (Purple Sandcherry)

 

 

Sumac and Purple Sandcherry on felted merino:

 

 

Sumac, coreopsis, Red Salvia blooms on embroidered felted merino:

 

 

Native plants for eco prints: Monarda, Golden Rod, Coreopsis, Black-Eyed Susan:

 

 

…Book Report

My books arrived back from the July Canadian BookBinders and Book Artists Guild National Show in Calgary.

A Blizzard Book (Hedi Kyle design) with soft cover: clamshell case by Shlomo Feldberg. Eco printed with maple and rust.

 

New World Scroll: Acer Saccharum. Eco printed papers, bookcloth, embroidered. Slip case by Shlomo (Book and box covered by eco printed papers and cloth)

 

 

Coptic binding; rust and maple printed papers; maple-printed linen covers (iron-dipped):

 

 

Rust printed and embroidered cloth; rust and maple printed papers:

 

 

That's it for now. Next project is to install a small show of eco printed Artist Books and prints at the Ottawa School of Art on August 12. The Iris Green books and prints will be part of the display as well as other books, including the ones in this post.

I will be giving a class in eco printing on paper at the Ottawa School of Art August Fri 23 Aug evening and Sat 24 Aug, for the day.

Hope to have some more student prints to share after the class!

Wendy

 

September Goodbyes

August 8, 2013

Not goodbye to my blog this September but certainly goodbye to the studio and garden at 20W. The Blue Heron came to say farewell:

 

Spent all of August and September so far sorting, packing, recycling, chucking out:

 

 

Of course, I saved a stack or two of this summer's printed textiles for blog pics. July was basically my last month working in the studio, racing to finish eco printing wools for an article in the British “Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers” (www.thejournalforwsd.org.uk); making sure to use up all the iris leaves in my garden to make paper and the frozen irisvblooms to print book pages and cloth; finally, printing up silk that had been soaking for weeks in alum water.

First, the wool ( a recap of last blog post):

 

Wools eco printed with iron, maples, sumac, coreopsis and prunus cistena. Now for the silks:

 

 

Prunus cistena and coreopsis, above.

 

 

Rose, marigold, iron, sumac, prunus c.:

 

 

Coreopsis verticillata, rhus typhina, “Purple Passion” apple slices:

 

 

Rugosa rose, prunus cistena, iron, sumac:

 

 

Tagetes, iron, prunus:

 

 

Rhus typhina, Coreopsis v., Rosa rugosa:

 

 

Tagetes, Prunus cistena, Eucalyptus globulus:

 

 

As above, with “Purple Passion” apple slices.

 

 

The Story Table.

Witness to the spinning and weaving of many life-tales ( and plenty of unravelling, too) this (five-dollar) school library table was rescued and gifted to us 40 years ago…Oh, it has seen and heard many a story…For the new house, it will get a face lift but it will always remain our communion table:

 

Here we all are, as we are on Labour Day 2013, saying goodbye after a final meal as a family in our home of 35 years and celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary.

Clockwise from the tallest: Shlomo, Shannon, Sarah, Scott, Hannah, Matthew and Wendy. Seated ( L to R) : Nemo the Lab, Dylan, Noah, Layla.

 

Next up? Making art in Umbria, Italy!

Off to spend the month of October experimenting with the dye properties of plants in Umbria along with bookbinding traditions there as well as papermaking…Will be posting from Mount Subasio near Assisi.

Arrividerci!

 

Midwinter Eco-printed Scrolls

December 16, 2012
 

In just a few days, the darkest days will be over and light will stay with us longer! This post, I had been hoping to share some pics of illuminated MSS on loan from the Bodleian to the Jewish Museum in NY…unfortunately, I seem to have lost them somewhere in cyberspace.( I learned from “The Art of the Saint John's Bible” by Susan Sink that the term “illuminated” refers to the gold used for illustrations in the manuscripts. ) So instead, I offer some images of my dye garden in midsummer and midwinter as illumination to your imagination!

Midsummer past:

Midwinter present:

The harvest of that garden keeps me close to summer all year. Besides the dye flowers you see in the summer garden ( coreopsis, tagetes, amaranthus, baptisia australis, borage, basil, viola ticolor) nearby are Red Maple (acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (acer saccharum), Silver Maple (acer saccharinum) Chokecherry (prunus virginiana) and from the kitchen, tea (camellia sinensis).

In the fall I eco-printed watercolour papers with tree leaves as content for another series of botanical scrolls (suite to my textile scrolls exhibited in July), artist books entitled “New World Scroll” . Some images:

Rust and leaf eco prints provide form and content of the New World Scroll. as does the book's accordion structure. The first books were in scroll form, flat or pleated or slatted (depending on its culture of origin). I am using paper to recall ancient form and marking it with plant dyes as a contemporary take on ancient practice, and also as a comment on disappearing traditional natural dyeing knowledge and skills, a loss now connected with disappearing plant diversity and ecological imbalance.

I have handwritten the names of the plants in Latin and English as is proper to a botanical document but in pleated scroll style. I have to say I was hesitating to use my own hand ….dreamed of perfect type from an elegant letterpress…but concept and earthiness won out. Hands on, the powerful presence of a maker in the lettering.

The plants recorded on the scroll are both native and immigrant, a witness to the ideal of a global sharing of knowledge and skill for the benefit of all. A blog, kind of.

Each double spread is inserted inside a fold in the accordion spine and presents four different prints. There are twenty-four eco- printed pages, two eco-printed end papers and a set of eco- printed and embroidered linen covers.

Some closer looks:

The embroidered and printed covers refer to traditional skills and knowledge that have faded away but which are being recovered gradually in textile circles – women's work, mainly…and with new appreciation for the artistry in the ancient practices.

Chokecherry and Red Maple pages in the scroll

Chokecherry pages

Simple pamphlet stitch spine

Opening the scroll

Next time:

More book arts!

And more NYC because that is where I will be spending Christmas. I wish you all the blessings of this holy season

Wendy

 

Art Textiles for a Wedding

May 24, 2012

Reduce, Re-use and Recycle was the wedding mantra since the Bride is a 3R Devotee…and the Bride’s Mother has a stash of vintage textiles and findings to make creative use of…

So the next RRR project after the chuppah was the headgear created for the wedding party of four ladies by Madeleine France Cormier, modiste and milliner of Chapeaux de Madeleine in Ottawa using her own millinery supplies in tandem with vintage textiles from my stash.

For the Bride, a fascinator was created from a silk cocktail hat inherited from her grandmother, and trimmed with silk veiling, feathers, antique square pearl buttons and handmade antique lace Passion Flower motifs:

A detail of the lace motif:

Another detail, showing how the veil is attached to a headband by a small lace motif and pearl button:

For the Mother of the Bride, Madeleine created a fascinator with a Steam Punk vibe: knitted copper mesh (AKA copper blocker from Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa), Victorian antique black jet beaded lace and black milliner’s mesh (horse hair) …and a sassy, feathery cockade.

Sister in Law, also into RRR, wore magenta purple suede shoes obtained from a consignment store (purple fascinator pic in next post…)

Friend of the Bride, Linsday Macdonald, made flowers for the dinner table out of old newspaper and buttons, displaying them in recycled blue Bristol glass sherry bottles along with fresh flowers in blue – hydrangeas and hyacinths (FYI: Harvey’s Bristol Cream is my most used condiment…It goes into everything from stews to soups to gravy to blueberry sauce to French toast …and naturally, the cook’s glass…it sits permanently on my kitchen counter along with a companion bottle of Marsala – same uses, less sweet)

And just a few more pics of the chuppah, culled from here and there (I have to admit I got too excited and forgot to give instructions re pics of the chuppah for my blog…)

Last entry in this post is about the Wedding Cloth made from the linen tablecloth (seen above) that covers the small table under the chuppah and holds the candles, wine and wine glasses required for the wedding ceremony. When I returned from the wedding, I eco printed the linen cloth (stained with red wine) with dried leaves left over from the chuppa eco prints, adding in some yellow wedding roses that the children had strewn beneath the canopy for the Bride and Groom. I bundled it with iron chunks, soaked it in white vinegar and steamed it for two hours. This is the first of the Wedding Art Textiles following the creation of the chuppah.

The Chuppah Tablecloth

For the colours, I used dried coreopsis, Japanese maple and cotinus from last summer, along with yellow roses from the chuppah, some old flat irons to give rusts, blacks and greys and a nice big red wine stain. The linen is damask with an ivy motif.

And a last pic of the Bride and Groom standing under the willows:

 

Next post: More fascinators, possibly more table decs and maybe more chuppah pics. And likely the start of a new series of eco prints.

Heads Up for my faithful readers: We are selling our house and therefore house hunting this summer plus I have a show in July. Blog posts will likely be not more than twice a month starting June 2012…Thank you for your interest! I am hoping to do a major update on my dye plant page, once I get my notes sorted.

 

Wendy

 

Eco printing the chuppah 5

March 4, 2012

My garden (the one the Bride grew up loving, but, er, not actually ever having worked in) has supplied all the plant materials (except Sweet Gum and Japanese Maple) for this collection of eco prints which were completed mostly last summer and fall. Some dried and frozen plant materials have been printed this winter. The USDA zone for an Ottawa garden is 4 while Canadian zone classification puts it at 5A, so taking garden micro-climates into account, one can make reasonable guesses about the range of dye plants comfortable here.

Sumac berries bundled in silk habotai

 

Rose leaves and tagetes marigold on lichen dyed vintage kimono silk fragment

Perennial geranium on silk habotai
Perennial geranium on silk habotai, modified by iron

 

Coreopsis verticillata (reds)and tagetes marigold calices and petals (greens and yellows) on silk habotai

Perennial geranium (yellow-greens), Golden Rod (yellows) and Red Cabbage (blues) on rusted silk habotai
Red Cabbage (blues) and tagetes marigold petals and calices (oranges and greens resp.) on silk habotai
Orange pekoe tea (blacks and browns), rooibos tea(rusts), safflower petals (yellows), Red Cabbage (blues) on silk habotai. All from the grocery store.
Purple Sandcherry and Purple Basil on silk broadcloth. Blues and greens.
Oak, Japanese Maple, Sweet Gum, Cotinus Coggygria (dark greens) and eucalyptus cinerea “Silver Dollar” (yellows) on silk broadcloth. No idea where that pink came from.

 

Note on the colours: I used a Canon Rebel SLR set at fully automatic, then the “enhance” in iPad photo edits. I find the colours very true to life.

Next time: If my new computer arrives this week, I can share some pics of the garden from last summer and fall. It is hidden under snow right now.

Eco prints on silk with eucalyptus, Rooibos tea, Red Cabbage and fall leaves

November 14, 2011

This time my eco prints are on some longer pieces of silk charmeuse, silk and wool mixture (80-20) and a small piece of silk twill.  Two lengths of  silk - wool, 24″ x 100″ were pre-mordanted in 25% alum , and the charmeuse and twill were post-dye mordanted in a 25% alum bath…am hoping for the best because I made a mistake in thinking that these two had been pre- mordnated. The collection:

From the left: 1. Sweet Gum and Japanese Maples on silk twill; 2. “Silver Dollar” eucalyptus on silk-wool mix bundled over cherry branches; 3. Red Cabbage, Rooibos tea, blackberry vine and leaves, dried tagetes petals and black tea (Taylor’s of Harrogate “Bungalow” blend) on silk-wool bundled over some very old iron rebar 4. Japanese Maple, Cotinus Coggygria, Sweet Gum and red Chokecherry bundled over copper. All steamed for at least an hour; the eucalyptus bundle was steamed for over three hours.

Some close ups and some details:

The sought-after reds from eucalyptus have arrived here in small measure, in stripes, outlines and spots here and there, adding sparkle and vivacity to the oranges and chartreuses of the leaf and stem prints, as touches of red are wont to do. I used the whole eucalyptus branch (from the florist) and like how it looks printed, better, in fact, than  isolated ovals printed from leaves torn from the stem . 

But to obtain red prints of the whole branch? My understanding is that I need  to soak the leaves several days before printing them; to use dry as opposed to fresh leaves; and to be patient while they cook, under steam or in a dye bath of water. Longer than other leaves…that means over two hours, for sure. Next time.  Meanwhile, chartreuse and orange with just splashes of red will do nicely:

I love the broken-up look of the leaf prints here. That effect comes from how I folded the cloth over the branches. I like how the red dye has drawn lines around the oranges and yellow-greens of the eucalyptus leaves in places and filled in small parts  of the print but without colour blocking the whole area. More Monet than Morris again!

I scrunched up the length of silk to get the photo – I like it better than the long “table shot”. You can see the incredible variety in the marks made by the dye stuffs and know that no two areas will show the same sets of marks or colours. Blues from the cabbage, greens from the marigold mixing with the cabbage; greens from the blackberry; rusty brown red from the Rooibos tea; blacks and dark greys from the black tea and the iron rebar; yellows and oranges from the dried tagetes petals, of course.

A couple of detail shots:

Great detail of the blackberry and the iron rebar.

Rooibos (“Red Bush” in Afrikaans), red cabbage and tagetes meet and mingle.

A range of gentle blues and greys from Japanese Maple, soft browns and ochres from Sweet Gum and more blues from Cotinus Coggygryia (I think I have misspelled that last word a hundred times in this blog – just can;t make it stick in my head… better stick with “Smokebush”… I can spell that…)

And a detail:

The darker blue values are from Chokecherry leaves (burgundy red all year) and the darker browns from Sweet Gum.

Next post: More eco prints on watercolour paper.

Honour Roll for this post:

Why, India Flint of course, the Great Queen of Eucalyptus Dye lore.  Her book on eco prints has taken me on this fascinating journey of discovery.

prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com/

More eco prints with golden rod, marigolds and maple leaves on vintage linen

October 6, 2011

The fields and ditches of Ontario were yellow with Golden Rod in late September. How not to pick some? A trip of some 700 kilometers and acres and acres of gold like this to look at:

 An armful of Golden Rod gathered from beside the road and a potful of (park) marigolds, deadheaded, gave  plant materials for immersion dye baths as separate colours and mixed. Most dye authors advise that it is OK to mix any yellow dyes and so I tried it with my vintage tablecloths described in these October posts. I wanted to try eco prints on both coloured textiles and white ones. So far, I have eco printed only naturally dyed textiles, the ones I have dyed myself using garden or foraged plants.

Golden Rod can be used a few times to extract dye. This batch of linen was dyed with a mix of marigold and golden rod colours. For one contact print with the Golden Rod plant, I first dyed the vintage linen in a long cool soak in a Golden Rod/marigold mix dye. I left the cloth for two weeks in the dye bucket while I was busy with an art show.  Then I used the cooked Golden Rod material for the contact print. For a second contact print on another vintage cloth, I laid out fresh Golden Rod on white linen :

 After dyeing and /or eco printing a couple of times with the Golden Rod, a began using maple and other leaves to obtain another layer of prints:  there are lots of images! They continue to show the linen panels in my “Forest Floor” series:

1. A broken, layered image of a maple leaf. I like the “incomplete” effect. And the white damask woven motifs reflect the light. Another layer of interest to exploit for meaningful content in the art work.

2. Delicate. Ephemeral. Fragile. Like the linen.

3. A transparent effect to the marks in this one.

4.  More broken marks – and a water colour effect

5. Marks of  a  memory of a leaf

6.  Somehow,  a bird flew in…

7. Golden yellow and dark brown marks from a red and green leaf…

8. Swirls of marks. The dark brown pointillist effects are from the Korean pear leaf, wearing red and brown for Fall.

Other marks and colour effects

To some vintage linen panels (dyed and printed as above and as shown in the previous day’s post) I added a tablespoon of iron liquor (rusty nails in 5% vinegar) to shift the colours to grey-green, and a dropperful (dropped here and there on the textile) of copper sulphate (copper pipe bits in 5% vinegar)  to shift the hue towards a brighter green, as in these four examples:

1.Interesting variations – I like the splashes of yellows (copper) and the greying (iron) of the pointillist marks

2. You can see a leaf print in the top left corner…the iron gave the damask a look of well-shone  pewter, a warm , low sheen. Delicious, silky, touchable.

3. Another layer of marks and colour to add interest4. Another view of the previous iron-modified eco print:

Eco prints from other plants

Now an eco print made with Fall asters (Michaelmas Daisies) and red marigolds on Golden Rod-marigold dyed linen: first the dye, then the ecoprint, as before.  Note that the greens (below) are quite different from the green-yellows of the previously- shown prints. These greens come from the calix of the marigold. Rather more green comes from the calix here than orange from the flower petals. Is that because these flowers are day-length and temperature sensitive? In July, the orange is far more assertive than the green. In October, green rules! I understand from my studies that frost-touched marigolds give spectacular colours. I am looking forward to the frost – only for that. The bright yellows in this eco print are from the Fall asters: 

And here are some images of the flowers used for this eco print:

Red mari

…and asters, pink and purple:

“Aster” means “star”

Last pics in this series of eco prints on vintage linen are of oak leaves. Hmm. I will have to try these again and maybe other kinds of oak – these leaves were large and very green and waxy…but I did NOT get a good impression or colour transfer… so that is a fine challenge for future dye experiments. Meanwhile:

Oak leaves eco print

 I photoshopped this image to crank up the contrasts;  it is much less distinct in reality:

More oak eco print on vintage linen, as before, pre dyed with marigold and Golden Rod:

 I used nine oak leaves for the eco print but only two (above) made any impression. Next time, I will ensure that each leaf is in tight contact with the textile surfaces when I steam the bundle.

Walnut leaf eco print on mari-Golden Rod dyed vintage linen (another image photoshopped o improve the contrast):

Last note: Here is the whole “Forest Floor” collection of eight vintage linen panels. During the winter ( o those long cold snowy nights without dye plants to gather…) I hope to  be stitching some of them, taking them to the next stage of cloth as memory and pilgrimage.

Next dye sessions will be with more Fall plants and on silk as well as vintage linen;  some experiments with walnuts;  some eco prints on paper and some preliminary stitch work on the eco printed panels I have done this summer and fall.

Wendy


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