Can one print successfully with dried or frozen leaves? Dye tradition says that certain dried plant materials will colour fabric, and India Flint documents successful colour extraction from frozen flowers.
For winter natural dyeing here in Canadian Zone 4 (Ottawa) , I have been drying plant materials and putting others in the freezer, particularly those that have worked nicely for my recent eco prints. This time I tried printing some of the frozen leaves on paper.
I used two kinds of paper, watercolour 140 lb (Canson) and my own handmade embossed papers.
Handmade paper (20 mins in alum water before steaming)
Eco print on handmade, embossed paper: Sweet Gum
Eco print on handmade, hot-glue- and lace-embossed paper: Sweet Gum and Chokecherry
Collection of leaves, eco-printed on handmade, embossed papers. Yes, strange smudges of purple emerged..
Sweet Gum on hot-glue- and lace-embossed handmade papers, from the other side.
Eco prints on water colour paper ( with a quick pre-soak in alum water)
Two sheets of paper enclosed a collection of leaves; sets of these were stacked , weighted down with bricks and steamed in a turkey roaster:
Eco printed Japanese Maple, previously frozen.
Eco printed Cotinus Coggygria (Smokebush), previously frozen.
Eco printed Chokecherry, previously frozen.
Eco printed alder leaves, previously frozen.
Collection of eco printed leaves, previously frozen.
Eco printed Ginkgo leaves, previously frozen.
Details from the watercolour paper eco prints:
Japanese Maple and Sweet Gum eco prints
Japanese Maple eco print- blue!
Blues: Cotinus and Japanese Maple eco prints
Honour Roll for this post
Cassandra Tondro: Check out her image tutorial on the process of extracting natural colours from leaves onto paper ( and some fabric). She asks on her blog :”What can I do with all these things I have printed?” http://cassandratondro.blogspot.com/
Note on alum: I understand that alum is used in the making of watercolour paper. Would explain why the colours seem to take so much better on watercolour paper than on my handmade stuff? I did not soak the papers very long, maybe 20 mins while assembling the project.
Next post: Frozen leaves eco printed on silk -wool panels. What worked on cotton rag paper ….
Sorry about the clunky editing…