Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Springing into action!

Our last workshop was held on a beautiful Spring day here in Dade City, and I had several new students along with a large group of continuing ones.  Perfect weather, great location and an interesting collection of plant materials to work with made for a great time.
Most of the new students wished to start with Eco Printing on paper, so we got the workshop set up, mixed the vat of indigo and allowed it to settle while we walked about the Museum grounds gathering plant materials for our prints.  I sometimes forget that I have been doing this for a while, and can sometimes overwhelm new people with too much information.
We got back to the workshop room, and I had the students set up their soaking tubs for their papers and plant materials and tried to explain the why's and where for's for doing these things.
It was such a pleasure to see the eagerness on their faces as they put their creative energy into building their paper stacks between two ceramic tiles.  I like to leave them to their own devices during this time and just walk around making suggestions as to how this or that change might affect their print.  They are like sponges.
By the time we get this all done, it is time for lunch.  The students that are going to do dyeing projects have their pieces stitched, folded clamped or whatever procedure they are going to try with indigo.  Some are combining eco printing bundles with post dyeing in indigo or cochineal.  It is going to be an interesting afternoon.
I have not yet photographed the dyed projects, so I will only show a few of the paper prints today.  Opening the stacks of prints was like Christmas, and it was such a delight to see the faces get wide eyed  as they viewed their creations for the first time.  This is always my favorite part of the workshop.  It is also the busiest as there are so many questions about what to do with the print, how to care for them, protect them, use them...  What made this color and what was this leaf again?  Now for the unveiling.  I'm sorry I didn't get everyone's name attached to their prints, but time constraints were great.  If you spot your print, please do post your name on this blog.  Just click on the words "No Comments" and leave a reply in the drop down box.  You probably should chose a number for your print and then add your name.

Liquidambar, cotton leaves and rose petals with thin steel wires.

Liquidambar (top left), Gossypium leaves (cotton) bottom, along with some leaves of Hibiscus Snow Queen leaves and the calyces of the cotton plant.

Liquidambar and Gossypium leaves, steel wires, bottle brush leaves, rose petals.

Liquidambdar along with rose petals and a cotton leaf as a resist with steel wires and some oak leaves. 
Liquidambar leaf with rose petals, some Hibiscus Snow Queen leaves. a spent blossom of H. sabdariffa.

Coreopsis flowers and rose petals added some bright color to this print laid on top of Boston Fern leaves.  There are traces of iron from within the stack that bled through to give some edge definition.

I will try to get the rest of the photos done as quickly as I can so you can see the lovely dye work that my students did with indigo and cochineal.  I hope you all have a lovely day.