Home to freezing Ottawa from the equally freezing Cotswolds… finally sorted through the thousands of photos and picked some for the blog…It was the coldest March in 50 years in England – snow, sleet, rain, wind…Dire warnings about severe weather (several snowflakes were forecast) ..but who cares? It was a fabulously creative time in the Master Class on eco printing on paper.
The hoped-for foraging was meagre since few plants on my long lists (see Refs pages) were actually available for the gathering from the fields and gardens, given the late spring. Nevertheless, hotel fridges, Tesco, Waitrose, lay-bys, street weeds, hedgerow stalwarts and students' own gardens still provided all we could possibly want for our foray into eco printing on paper. Cousin Pam from Yorkshire even drove down with a “boot” full of eucalyptus, laurel and hydrangea trimmings from her garden; sage, mint, kale, Red Cabbage and carrot tops from Waitrose, roses too and early quince blossoms. From the Stroud environs came blackberry tangles, snowdrops, crocuses, celandine, cyclamen, dried beech leaves, ivy, mistletoe, nettles (barely up but plentiful), juniper berries, barks, mosses and mystery leaves galore…and oak leaves foraged from a galvanised iron drinking trough, all ready rusted…
See now what we printed with all of these (and more) We also had some painterly post-printing brush play with dye assistants/colour shifters like ammonia, iron liquor, copper sulphate and cream of tartar. Just a selection in this post – more to come (and lots already on FB). These, plus dye powders from Couleurs de Plantes, a selection of dried dye plants like sumac berries and black tea, copper pipes, iron bits and various barks all contributed to the rainbow of colours we obtained.
I was very happy with the results my students were able to achieve – first time for most of them. We worked hard and tried everything! Such an adventurous group. We had no time in one short day to let the first bundle rest longer than the lunch hour! The first batch of papers were pre-mordanted with alum as is my recommendation while the second batch had no alum soak (no time! ) but then we were experimenting.
Through the steam from the pot…the first reveal…
Eucalyptus, rose leaves, logwood dye powder, iron modified, in a steamed stack of papers. What can you say? So very lovely.
Sumac berries, logwood dye powder(?), some greenery, iron modified. Simmered in water, “Canal” paper rolled over a wood dowel (or was it a copper pipe?) This method of processing gave highly textured surfaces to the paper and induced pigments to pool in the folds where the fibres were bruised by the rolling.
Mystery (to me) leaf modified by selectively painting with iron liquor (rusty nails in vinegar or ferrous sulphate powder solution) Blues likely from the very co-operative Red Cabbage, greens maybe from rose or nettle…I did give each student a sheet of labels to attach to tne papers and to record the plants used but I did not photograph the label for this one from Bernard (I think)
Water colour paper, accordion fold with pockets , iron bits, dye powders, Rec Cabbage et al…spectacular rust and plant dye print by fearless printer, Maxine Relton.
Eco print on silk organza (I included some silk in the kit along with papers for chine colle experiments) Not sure of the plants but the result is delightful.
Cousin Pam's Ilkley Eucalyptus with Madder Rich dye powder . Isn't that an inspired colour pairing? Love the wash effect of the dye powder (which could be painted on like ink as well as sprinkled as powder)
A wonderful range of colours and forms in delicious harmony. A colour and value study.
More printerly prints next time. Thank you for your good wishes