September Papers


Since last post I have become a book arts addict…oy. That came about as a result of researching the scroll form as a way to present my eco printed textiles for my Forest Floor exhibition last month.One scroll led to another, shall we say. Of course, I have not abandoned my textiles – instead, I have another way to display them – as books! I am now a member of the Canadian Book Binding and Book Arts Guild, and about to attend my first meeting. I have even made two humble little books using my eco printed papers from last year. Plus I have had fun making paste papers coloured with natural dyes. Here are some of the seasonal papers eco printed with plants from my garden this week.

Dye plants : Coreopsis verticillata, culinary sage, Scarlet Sage, rose leaves, perennial geranium leaves, Purple Sandcherry ( prunus cistena), Chokecherry (p. virginiana) and two or three kinds of tagetes marigolds. The plants were sandwiched between sheets of watercolour paper, 90 lb and 140 lb., bundled and steamed. (See the full How -To in my posts from Fall 2011 tagged “eco prints on paper”)

Sages, two kinds:

Tagetes petals and one red- dye coreopsis bloom.


Rose leaf, coreopsis and dead bug hitchhiker

After removing the rose leaf:


Prunus cistena:

Sage (yellow-green) with Scarlet Sage(pink)


Thread leaf coreopsis:

The collection – about two dozen papers:

And now the two little books:

First, a small pamphlet style book with an eco printed cover; paste paper lining coloured with powdered logwood mixed in corn starch paste ; pastel paper signatures sewn with purple waxed linen thread; fleur de lis punched.


Second is the Flag Book! This is an accordion book, with no sewing. It is a kind of scroll.

To make my flag book, I inserted the manila labels from my “Forest Floor” textiles into the accordion spine and created the book covers from eco printed paper and canvas. Much prettier than being stored in plastic envelopes in a three ring binder!

Tomorrow, the glue holding the covers together will be dry. A book and a brick serve to flatten the covers overnight. I inserted a braided ribbon tie between the cover and its lining The book tie came from my stash of machined cords – three cords braided to make the ribbon tie.


The catalogue is from the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery this summer.


15 thoughts on “September Papers

  1. Wendy, these are marvelous!!! They will make great little books!.
    How long is your steaming time, usually?
    I am glad to see you used 90 lb papers successfully. I have been using 140# and 300# watercolor papers, and they can be really difficult to flatten after the dye/printing is finished.

    1. Thanks, James, always enthusiastic!

      I usually steam the papers for at least an hour for a stack thst comes from one water colour pad.
      More than a dozen sheets? More steaming time, more frequent turning over of bundles, etc…not an exact science for sure!

      Good luck

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