This is a blog for those who share an interest in dyeing fibers and fabrics, especially those interested in Eco-dyeing.
Wonderful prints and texture! Would be nice to be able to click any of your photos to see a larger view. I love your beer can chicken--I am sure it taste yummy. I also maintain a cooking blog, it's www.mztasty.blogspot.com
Oops, I thought the "eco print steamer 3" is a recipe. Sheepish.....:)
The older photos can't be enlarged, the newer ones in the center can. Blogspot has finally changed their format.The beer can chicken cooker was a whim that turned out to be a great idea. When you want steam only for "cooking" prints.
After reading your post about printing on paper--I am inspire to try it. Here's a snippet of your post: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, etc.in the water to soak until they were soft enough to lay flat.If you don't mind me asking is there a difference between hot and cold pressed? Also, with the alum water--would be willing to share the recipe to your alum water? Do I need to add cream of tartar to it also. I apologize to so many questions :)
The biggest difference is for watercolor artist and the texture a brush produces as it drags across a rougher paper. Not so much difference in eco printing. The pressure of clamping or rolling and tieing the bundle reduses the difference of texture. Water color paper has a small amount of alum still in it from processing. I add only a pinch to the half gallon or so I use for soaking. I only use cream of tartar on fabric because it improves the "hand" or feel of the fabric after dyeing. I have never used it for paper prints. You may also use an aluminum vessel to cook in, and some aluminum will leach into the water while cooking. It doesn't take a lot. The pot acts as mordant.Please, ask as many questions as you like. That is what my blog is for, to exchange information.
That should be "tying", something is obviously wrong with my spell checker.
Mmm...I'm curious as to your methodology on these prints. Are you actually boiling the prints in the copper rich brew? So, clamping them between something and boiling them? Or do you steam them first then boil them? Also, I was very intrigued by the aluminum comment above. For my first trial pieces I seperated the sheets of paper with aluminum foil...I'm guessing that is where all my strange blotches came from!!!
I'm glad you asked that question. I sometimes forget that not everyone of my blog readers may not be readers of my Facebook entries. Today I will try to do a little photo essay of one way to make a "bundle" for eco printing. Just briefly though, I will try to give you a brief view of my stacking methods: (1)The ceramic tile method. place a ceramic tile on your table smooth side up. Lay a piece of watercolor paper that has been soaked, cut to the same size or smaller, onto the tile. Place plant material on paper. Lay another piece of watercolor on top of this. Continue stacking, alternating paper and plant material (I have stacked 20 sheets, but I would recommend 5 or 6 for a beginner). Place the 2nd ceramic tile face down on the stack and press. Use natural rubber bands (not dyed)or heavy string to secure your "bundle" tightly. Be sure to wrap your bundle so that all 4 sides are closed as tightly as possible. Place your bundle on edge into the pot you are going to cook them in, add liquid (you can cover or bring liquid at least up halfway the depth of the bundle). Turn on the heat (or place over a fire) and bring to a boil. If your plant material is the soft kind,
Sorry, Blogspot decided to enter my comment itself. If your plant material is the soft kind, do not boil very long, if you have tougher foliage type leaves like eucalyptus you may boil for an hour. Turn heat off and let "bundle" remain in the liquid overnight. When cool, remove the "bundle" from the pot, drain briefly and then lay it on the table and remove the wrapping bands or string. THIS IS IMPORTANT...at this stage, your paper is fragile. Lift off the ceramic tile and then lift the first page. If your plant material does not lift off easily, you may gently run water over it in the sink. Don't worry, I have never had this remove any of the impression on the papers. Repeat this as many times as you have layers. I use blotting paper to lay my prints on as they are removed, but you can use paper toweling or some other thing for now. Allow prints to dry and then you may handle them again and press if needed. This seems lengthy, but you'll get the process quickly of you do it just once. Careful...this is addictive!!!
The 2nd method that I have used is much like makeing fabric bundles to ecoprint. I use a short length (up to about 12") of Schedule 40 pvc pipe or copper pipe or even a pie of small tree branch that is straight. Soak your paper, lay it on table and make stack like in the first method. I have never had success with over 4 sheets with this method because of bulkiness. After placing the last piece of paper on top, lay your pipe or stick on the stack edge and roll the bundle around it. hold securely while wrapping, because you need good contact throughout the pile. Again, wrap with rubberbands or string and place in your pot. Cook as before. You may remove the stick from the pot and follow the rest of the procedures in the first method. I will post additional photos later today, to illustrate these methods. Be fearless. If you mess up the first prints, all is not wasted. Try printing on the same papers again. Let them dry thoroughly first the soak and stack again. Your used dyebaths may be saved and reused again and again.