Monday, January 19, 2015


I don't know what happened on the last blog post, but the posts on the page shifted arround.  I apologize.  blogspot is not allowing me to put stuff back where it belongs, so please bear with me and enjoy.

Some Days are Just SO Worth It!

Marilyn Hines produced several lovely prints on cotton fabric.  She used Eucalyptus, Wild Cherry and some of the Oak leaves tha had been soaked in rusty water to create this print.
Amy Greif's torn-edge prints are always a treat.  She used a deep red Salvia blossoms to achieve the color in these prints.
Amy combined Redbud (Cercis Canadensis) leaves, sand pear and Eucalyptus with the Salvia in this print..  Very delicate.
Wild Cherry and bleed through from the Salvia blossoms look lovely.
Another lovely mirror image print.  Two kinds of Eucalyptus along with Wild Cherry and Redbud leaves make a very rhythmic print.
Amy outdid herself with this lovely Itajime Shibori That is both printed and dyed.  When the fabric was folded for the Itajime (clamp dyeing) Amy inserted blossoms from he Salvia before clamping and cooking in a Cochineal bath.  Really beautifully done!
Another nice Itajime piece.  Small wooden stars were clamped on the fabric after it was folded, and the whole cooked in a Cochineal bath.  I should have cut the stars from thicker boards and used a C Clamp for a tighter clamping. and better resist, but still lovely..

Marilyn built her stack of prints to be cooked on ceramic tiles just like she would when making paper prints.  Where the fabric overlapped the edges of the tiles, She folded it back as she bound her "bundle" with rubber bands.  The tie marks created a nice frame around the print.
This lovely print on cotton by Marilyn HInes is one of the best ever produced in my classes.  It is a Shibori piece using White Oak acorn caps.  The print reminds me of Guineafowl feathers.  Beautiful!

Rose leaves, Cotton leaves, Sand Pear leaves and Wild Cherry leaves all combined in the print on cotton to make a lovely print.  There is influe from the Camelia blossoms used by Lee in her stack  appearing in Maryilyn's prinnt cooked in the same pot.
Bonnie Weisser was visiting Florida from Maine and wanted to take a workshop with me.  This print is  her work in yesterday's workshop.  Great job, Bonnie.
The Sand Pear leaf at the top of her print was also affected by the Camelia Blossoms used in Lee Gate's print..  The Guava leaves at the bottom of the print clearly demonstrate how diffenrently the fron and the back of the leaf prints..
Eucalyptus, Wild Grape, Sand Pear, Firecracker Plant, grape vine tendrils all combined to make a lovely print.
The delicate looking prnt used only the Oak leaves that had been soaking in the rusty water.  How pretty is this!
Again, Eucalyptus, Wild Grape, Oak and Wild Cherry  reacted to the iron and the Camelia flower.
Bonnie decided to use some of the fine wires from truck tires and it added a very nice design touch.
Leaves from the Oak leaf Hydrangea look great with the Wild Cherry, some influence from Eucalyptus and  and a little iron are visible in this print.
I love these mirror image print sand the effect of the iron wire.  There is embossing in the paper from firecracker plant stems but little color.

Marilyn wanted to separate a couple of pages (One cotton fabric and one paper) so she could transition from one material to another, so I gave her a piece of 8mm silk habotai that I had previously dyed in a willow leaf extract.  It was a pale creamy yellow.  In this photo you can see the lovely print achieved by the plant materials on both side of the silk.

Did you ever have one of those days when everything seemed to go just the way you wanted it to?  Yesterday was that kind of day for me.  Workshop days are usually  very hectic and time seems very forced, like there just isn't enough of it to get everything done. But yesterday was different/
Yesterday we had beautiful weather, birds singing, flowers blooming, .  After a week of chilly temperatures, it was a very welcome kind of day.

My students started showing up and drifted into our normal routine of gathering the plant materials to be used in our printing session.  We had a new first-time student visiting from Maine, and the group chatted and introduced themselves while I got the cooking pots going and passed ceramic tiles around to be used for the days printing

Well, my students outdid themselves.  We had one of the best printing and dyeing sessions ever.  There work was just marvelous, and I'd like to share with you some photos of their accomplishments..  Some were quite innovative, and new materials not used before created quite a stir.

Lee Gates created some lovely prints from Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina) scrap metals, Sand Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia) leaves and Wild grape leaves (Vitis vitis).

ALee created these lovely prints of Liquidambar Wild Cherry and some stems of the Firecracker Plant by adding a tin can lid to react with the leaf tannins.  You can see black iron gas bubbles on top of the liquidambar leaf.

The two prints on the left are made by using Oak (Quercus) leaves that had been soaking in rusty water for over a week.  Kind of amazing the colors that were available to print.  The greens that are showing the right prints would normally have printed reds or yellows, but there was some new plant mater add  that somehow affected all of the colors in this stack:
Lee used fallen Camelia (Camelia Japonica) flowers in the stack, and besides the lovely blues,  we see greens and mid tones and blue greys and a heightened contrast in the prints that were all cooked together in this stack.  The bottom right picture shows the spent Camelia blossoms after cooking, but still with plenty of color left in them

Great job by all of my students, and I admire their creativity and fearlessness.  Amy also did a cold dye Itajime of broken auto glass on cotton that was dyed in rusty water without cooking.  It turned out beautiful, but unfortunately I did not get a good photo of it.  I will try to get one, and post at a later date.  It turned out lovely.. Oh well, what does the future hold.....?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Time to begin again!

It is a New Year and there is a new start for us.  My first workshop will be held January 18th, 2015 at the Pioneer Florida Museum, so get your creative juices flowing and join me for another day of eco printing and dyeing. The class size is limited, so contact the Pioneer Florida Museum to reserve your space.

I had a great time visiting with Hilde Wolleboom and her husband Siegfried at the Museum last week, and we shared printing and dyeing experiences with each other, and it was really great to actually meet someone we have had contact with only via Facebook for the last 3 or 4 years.  Our dyeing community is really huge, but to actually sit face to face and share experiences is such an enriching experience.  I hope all of you will have the opportunity to meet other friends from around the world to share information about our artform.

A lovely print by Hope Martin.  This is a combination of eco printing and hapa zome (flower smashing)

Friday, January 2, 2015

With a little help from my friends!

Did you ever have one of those days when you thought everything was going along so well and you turned a corner and disaster stuck!  Yesterday was one of those days.  I had cooked a new folded book and hoped to finish it as a gift.  When I opened it after it cooled, it looked great..  Then I turned a page and saw that the left page was blank and the right page was printed.  I had left a single page of paper in the book when it was cooked and it blocked the mirror print.  Other than that, the book was fine, but how do you gift a book with some pages printed and some not!

Dame Fortune appeared though in the form of an article I found In PAGES Magazine (Winter 2015 issue).  Jan LaFollette had an article showing two of her pieces of mixed media.  Wow!  Just what I needed when I needed it!

The single page had a beautiful print of Acer leaves, so I borrowed Jan's idea of a mixed media collage and completed the empty page.  I think it turned out fine.  Most of the book had been printed using the leaves of the Sand Pear Tree (Pyrus pyrifolia) along with some leaves of the Bradford Pear and some Acer leaves and Cosmos petals.  I borrowed Jan's idea of using a tea bag and I placed two leaves of the Sand Pear in the tea bag and stitched it down on the page.  I also used some torn pieces of Walnut-stained paper towel and three brown coconut shell buttons  I added two little strips of scrap lace on the bottom, one white and one ecru.  I stamped the year on the tea bag tag, and stitched the tag to the page with a zig zag stitch.  I used PVA glue to gently glue the tag string to the page so it would not snag when the book was opened.  After al of the stitching and glue was done,, I applied PVA glue to the entire back of the single page and added it to the blank page in the folded book.  I was happy with the finished result, I also added a few pieces of text to the page as a message to the recipient.  Here's a photo:

The book will be wrapped in white lambskin when done.
White lambsskin wrap cover, decorated with abalone shell and copper, gold and silver Czech glass  beads.