Thursday, December 5, 2013

Overprint results!

Well,I overprinted some of the prints posted on the blog at the left side of your screen.  I used mostly wild cherry, oak, red maple, sea grape, red passion flower, eucalyptus, and elm .  In some of the previous prints, there was a lot of iron, and one print had wood ashes scattered over it before drying.  This stack was cooked in a copper rich dye bath that had been used about 5 times. See if you can match the new with the old.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Spreading the word!

We had a great workshop Saturday at the Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City, Florida.  I taught 4 students how to fold paper maze books, then stuff them with plant material.  We then cooked the books and let them cool.  When we removed the plant material, they had some lovely books to show for their efforts.  I wish to acknowledge the work of Shereen LaPlantz in her book Cover to Cover for the wonderful creative ideas we were able to use in our workshop.  We are planning another workshop at the Museum on January 19, 2014

Continued Reading!

Once your appetite for eco printing books gets going, it is hard to fill it up!  I could just keep on folding and stuffing and cooking until I dropped!  I am going to post some pages from my next three books, and I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Read any good books lately?

I have just taken two new instant books out of the pot this morning, and already I can tell that they will make wonderful reading.  I got some very good, clear prints of some lovely leaves, and all together they tell me what went on in the cookpot.  For this recipie, I used the leaves from Oak (Quercus), Cercis Canadensis (Redbud), Ligustrum (Ligustrum sinensis), Wild grape, (Vitis vitis) along with some scrap steel wire, some washer andrusty bottle caps.  I had a copper rich dyebath used about 3 times before, in an aluminum pot, so you can see that there was quite a mixture of metals and plant materials full of tannins.  The results were very satisfying to me, and I hope they will be to you also.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall has arrived--It's time for new prints!

The cool days and nights have finally arrived.  I can cook batches of prints again.  The prints for this posting were cooked in a small pressure cooker inside, but will probably be the last ones so cooked until next Summer.  It is cool enough and I have enough firewood that I can start printing outdoors again.  I will also have a large stock of fallen leaves to work with and interesting fall flowering weeds.  It is always fun to see what the outcome will be by mixing one type of leaf with another in the same print.  Then to change the metals used to mordant, but keep the same leaf combinations.  I am including a few of the prints that came out of the mornings batch.  I have photographed pairs of prints that were facing each other in the stack and you can see it is not always a mirror image.  I have also shown single enlarged prints of my favorites.  Enjoy!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Two In Progress!

The creation of small single edition books is a fun way to enjoy my love of Eco Printing, and to learn techniques that bring out the best of color and line from my materials.  Here are four (out of 40) of my latest pages for the new book.  They are all cooked and printed in an aluminum pressure cooker that has the copper bottom from an old pan laying in it.  140 lb watercolor paper, no additional mordants added.  The pages were cooked the first time for 20 minutes under pressure.  Then they were allowed to cool overnight still sandwiched between the ceramic tiles.  The next morning, I opened the stacks and inserted some additional plant materials and metal bits and wires, then closed the stack again and pressure cooked for 20 minutes more and allowed to cool.  Some of the first colors changed a bit as they reacted with the metals, but an interesting red tone began to spread across the pages.  I like the final prints, and they they will make a lovely book.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Help with Translator!

Tatiana, thank you for your comment.  I'm glad you enjoy the prints.  Thank you for telling me about the Translator.  When I set this page up, one was not available.  I have set the Translator to translate, but it will not let me choose a language.  Any ideas how to overcome this?  Do you know if it is possible to select more than one language?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lime, Dogwood & Eucalyptus, Recipe for nice prints!

A FB friend, Kim Cowley posted some prints made using Lime and Dogwood leaves along with some Eucalyptus.  I liked them so much I decided to give them a try myself.  Am I glad I did!  I used the same copper rich dye bath and 140# watercolor paper, and also added leaves of Loropetalum (Chinese Fringe Tree), Hibiscus acetifolia (Roselle), and Red Passionflower vine.  The copper brought some wonderful greens and the Hibiscus acetifolia brought some wonderful blues.  I can't wait for the prints to dry enough for me to handle them.  I now place my prints between sheets of blotter paper to absorb most of the water more quickly, but it still takes at least 4 hours for the paper to become strong enough to handle.  This batch was 5 sheets of 9 x 12 inch watercolor paper, and all but one sheet are printed on both sides.  A quick peek at them told me I have some nice prints, but like all good things, they are worth waiting for.  I will post photos of the prints as soon as I can in the A.M.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Let's get ready to bundle!

Sorry for the delay in getting the photo essay on the blog, but Life happens.  Here in a brief space is the method I use to bundle my paper prints to prepare them for cooking.  Here I am using ceramic tiles, 140# watercolor paper, natural rubber bands and plant materials. Soak your papers in warm water for about 30 minutes, or overnight in cold water.  Place a ceramic tile on a flat surface, lay a sheet of paper on it and place a layer of plant materials on top.  Continue to build the stack of paper and plant materials to the height you wish, then place another ceramic tile on top of the stack.  Using natural rubber bands, or heavy cotton twine,  wrap the bundle securely.  Now your bundle is ready to place in a pot for cooking.  I like to place the last rubber bands at diagonals on the corners to help even the pressure on the tiles.  I hope this helps.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Turning Over a few Leaves!

The first set of pages finally dried enough to turn over.  Here is the second set of 24 pages.  I think this little book is gong to be very special.

Leafing Through the Woods!

I am working on a 48 page book of eco prints, and this is the first 24 pages plus 2 end cap prints.  This was cooked in a copper-rich bath that I have used about 5 times.  It only keeps getting better.  This bath gave me some lovely blues and greens as well as the usual browns tans, chartreuse and black/greys.  I can't wait until they dry enough to turn them over and see the reverse images.  I will post them as soon as I am able.

Punch it up a little!

Here are a few photos of a new technique I tried from a "What if...".  I was thinking about finding new ways to make marks, and especially to carry a theme through my work.  I got the idea to punch out shapes from onion skins with a paper punch and add them to the pages I was preparing to Eco print.  Some very interesting things happened.  I added Callistemon leaves because I knew they contained a lot of tannins, and I added iron threads from old steel belted radial tires;  the prints show the bleed through of these elements and how they affected the prints on paper.  This is on 140# watercolor paper, cooked for 1 hr and allowed to cool overnight before opening.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Doing the Happy Dance!!!

I have really been busy with the prints on paper, but I have discovered the wonders of using copper scrap in the dye bath, and this latest batch of prints are spectacular!  I left them in the dye bath overnight to cool, and when I opened them in the morning, I was overjoyed with the results.  There are many kinds of leaves used, Bauhinia (Orchid Tree) Callistemon (Red Bottlebrush), Eucalyptus, Liquidambar (Sweet Gum), Red Passion Flower, Hibiscus acetifolia, Boston Fern, yellow onion skins,  Tabebuia, Trident maple (Acer, variety unknown), and in addition, I used a few wire threads from old steel belted radial tires I found on the highway.  I used 90 lb. watercolor paper by Strathmore, 12 sheets in a stack between 2 ceramic tiles.  All bound together with natural rubber bands and boiled in a 30 qt. aluminum tamale steamer with 3 copper roof tiles from my daughter's house for one hour and then left to cool overnight.  I am attaching some photos, but with this new system, I hope the prints are large enough for you to see the beautiful pastel subtleties in the prints.  I would encourage everyone to try printing on paper, if nothing else, you will learn something about what colors individual plants can give, fresh or dried.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Passage of Time!!

I can hardly believe that it is now 4 years since I learned to dye naturally and to Eco Print on fabric & paper.  If you had told me in 2009 that over 10200 people would read a blog that I posted,  or that it would have 66 people who followed it, I would have said you were crazy.  But that , my dear friends, is exactly what happened.  I have had a wild and crazy time with Mother Nature, and she was generous in rewarding me with wonderful results.

I have added many friends along the way, and that is probably the best thing of all.  I have received help from so many generous people, and I hope I can return the favor many times over.

Please feel free to comment on my blog, the feedback from you is very important to me.  If you have questions, don't be bashful.  I will answer them as best I can or refer you to someone who I know can answer them.  Have a great time, and visit often!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh, Nuts!

Here I am again.  Finally.  I apologize for being absent from my blog for so long, but due to family illnesses and my own, plus a very active teaching schedule, I just haven't had the time.  I am about to get caught up and back to my dyeing, so I thought I would show my latest efforts.  I have just  opened a Silk Crepe de Chine scarf, 22" x 90", that I dyed Shibori style using small green hickory nuts and a dye bath that had copper scrap in it. I had used the dye bath previously to print on paper using sea grape leaves, Boston fern, hickory leaves, oak leaves and the leaves from a red passion flower vine.  The container was a galvanized trash can.  I boiled the prints between two ceramic tiles for one hour and left them in the dye bath overnight to cool.  I will post a couple of the resulting prints and the scarf photos after I write this entry.  I hope I can encourage you to experiment fearlessly.  Use whatever fabrics you can and keep good notes.  Natural fibers seem to work the best, but I have printed on cotton polyester blends when the dye bath was very acidic.  I love the prints I get on watercolor paper, and it is rather an inexpensive medium, so feel free to experiment.,