Sunday, January 8, 2012

Eco-printing for paper!

It's a new year, with new ideas and new things to play with.  Last December I posted two sites that just blew me away with examples of using eco-dyeing to print paper.  As a printmaker, I knew that I had to try this.  This morning I spent about 2 hrs. gathering up leaves from my stash, soaking them in warm water, and preparing water color paper for eco-printing.  Like a quilter, I went from bin to bin, box to box, gathering things that would give texture and color to my prints.  I felt like a kid in school again.  I have even used some leaves that were previously used in eco-printing fabric.
I had some scraps of 140 lb. and 300 lb. watercolor papers, both hot and cold pressed so I prepared them by tearing them into approx. 5 x 7 in. sheets, then soaking them in an alum bath (warm) for about 20-25 minutes.  I placed a large bowl of water in the micro and warmed it for about 3 minutes and placed my leaves, the water to soak until they were soft enough to lay flat.
I placed a steamer rack in my old enameled canning kettle, and laid down an 8" x8" white ceramic tile. Then I started layering.  Paper then leaves, paper, leaves, until I had 8 sheets of paper covered with leaves and flower parts of different kinds, finally weighing them down with another ceramic tile.  I covered the kettle with the lid and am steaming for about 2 hours.  I will not undo the bundle until it is completely cold.  Photos to follow tomorrow.