Eco Printing – Autumn Colours From The Final Leaf Flourish

I am making a push to complete my leafy journey this year before the leaves are gone, I do enjoy working with the seasons.
I went out gathering leaves on Friday as the wind was getting up and they are starting to fall. There’s an acer tree in the village that has lovely small palmate leaves, it’s in a garden but near the wall, I’ve waited for them to start falling over the wall onto the path so I could gather some.

Whilst collecting leaves around my garden I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the trees, Sorbus Cashmiriana is colouring up nicely, and you can see the hosta leaves are golden now, soon they will turn to mush and be gone until next year so no more hosta ceramics until late spring.
UntitledI decided to try a new dye blanket as the iron blanket gave such great results, this one is myrobalan also known as harde powder. The other bundle at the back has the iron blanket. I could see colour forming around the leaves as I rolled my bundles so I couldn’t  wait to unroll them once they had been steamed and cooled.
Eco printed silk scarvesThe colours looked great as I started to unroll the bundles.
Eco printed silk scarvesThese scarves didn’t have a blanket, the leaves were dipped in iron water (for comparison).
Ecoprints on silk

The little acer leaves turned out nicely.

Ecoprints on silkI love the lovely rich amber colour from the myrobalan, in reality these scarves are much brighter than they are showing on my computer screen. The whole scarf is a warm amber colour, some areas deeper than others , the leaves left delicate but beautiful prints.

Ecoprints on silkHere are some closeups of the leaf prints.
Ecoprints on silkThese are the scarves with the iron blanket, these are my favourites.
Ecoprints on silkSome of the leaves were dipped in myrobalan, they are the ones that printed orange. The leaf prints are very detailed, I love the dark outlines on some of the blackberry leaves. The spleenwort printed orange from the myrobalan. I wish it wasn’t so dark today as the colours are richer than they are showing here.
Ecoprints on silk I will be boiling some bundles today, I will tell you how it went in my next post.

Enjoy your Sunday.

 

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Art Elements Theme Challenge – Foliage

I was delighted when I saw the September theme challenge from Art Elements was foliage as I was already working away with some leafy makes. So this was the perfect opportunity to push my makes a little further.
First let me apologise for forgetting to take WIP photos, I was so in the zone and feeling I had to get things done that I forgot.
I have been working with the seasons for much of this year, just now I seem to be working frantically before the leaves have gone.

I made some more of my hosta leaf succulent  pots / ikebana bowls.
Ceramic leaves home decorThen I decided to go a step further and make incense stick holders, my daughter likes burning incense.
Leaf ceramics for a Zen homeI thought some tea lights holders would  be a great complement to the incense holders.

Leaf ceramics for a Zen homeThen I got thinking about spas and relaxing Zen bathroom style so a soap dish happened next.

Ceramic leaves home decorThen a larger leaf to use as a candle stand.

Leaf ceramics for a Zen homeI can just imagine if I ever had the time to lie in a bubble bath with candles, tea lights and incense burning but it’s probably never going to happen.

More tea lights, incense holders and trinket trays happened. I’m glad I got them done because I noticed yesterday that the hosta leaves were going over very quickly.

Ceramic leaves home decorThen I turned to eco printing, if you read my last blog post you will know I have been gathering leaves, like a nesting dormouse.

I decided to stitch some scarves myself from beautiful fine merino wool gauze, the fabric is expensive so I was hoping not to spoil it. It took ages to find a technique that gave me an edging I was happy with, there was a lot of fraying, and not just the edges, I said never again!

The first one had a double neatening on the long edges but the fabric kept sliding, the stitching is like a dog’s back leg so this one is a keeper. I will look forward to wearing it.
UntitledThe fringed one worked well but it was very time consuming to make. I do love how the printing turned out though, I know I said never again but that was before I saw how it turned out.
Ceramic leaves home decorMy next blog post will be about my ecoprinted silk scarves.
Now I am heading over to see what everyone whose taking part in the blog hop have made, my favourite part of the challenge.

AE Team
 
Lesley  
Marsha  
Claire  
Jenny  
Niky  
 
Guests
 
Dawn  
Hope  
Alison  
Laurie  
Kathy  
Sarajo  
Tammy  
Divya  
Karen  
Alysen  
Mary  
Cat  

 

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New Eco Printed Silk Scarves

I have been working busily to get my shop stocked with ecoprinted silk scarves before the leaves have gone.

I have some listed in my Etsy shop now, there are more to follow. My plan is to stock up  early for Christmas so I can spend more time with family in November and December.

These are the scarves that I have managed to list so far. There are a few more already printed and I plan to print another batch this coming week. I want to play more with blankets, to see what happens, watch this space.

Eco printed silk scarvesI got some lovely rose leaf and geranium prints, also some pretty light greens on this scarf.

Eco printed silk scarvesSuch a contrast with these strong bronze green and dark purple brown prints, you wouldn’t think these were processed together.

Eco printed silk scarvesA pretty scarf with delicate prints from geranium and onion skins.

Eco printed silk scarvesThe veins are prominent in these leaf prints.

Eco printed silk scarves

Mostly olive greens on this purple scarf.Eco printed silk scarvesThe cotinus leaf usually prints very dark but this time it’s almost a shadow leaf.

Eco printed silk scarvesI have saved my favourite until last, this one was printed with an iron blanket, the prints are well defined and the scarf has rusty speckles which I love.

Eco printed silk scarvesEven the fern fronds printed green, thay have always come out very pale in the past.

Eco printed silk scarvesHopefully I will be boiling more scarves this week, I have been collecting leaves around the village, I think everyone might think I’m crazy . 🙂

What are you planning on making this week?

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Along The River

I went collecting treasure along the river the other day, most of you wouldn’t see leaves and wild fruits as treasure but they are to me. I have always foraged every Autumn, it’s something my Grandpa taught me. I will make jam and do some printing with the leaves, I love working with nature.

Early Autumn has to be me my favourite time of year, the low sun and gentle warmth on my face, the long shadows and sparkling dew on spiders webs.

Along the river
The river was quite full, it’s been a couple of months since I walked along her banks. I look for wildlife, today there were herons, swans, ducks, dippers, lots of water beetles, and a cormorant up a tree, not something you see every day. I only had my camera phone so the photos aren’t so good but you can see a heron fishing here.

Along the riverI like to observe the huge boulder field left after the floods, once totally barron it’s now being colonised again by plants. It’s hard to imagine this as the virtual moonscape it was originally.
Along the riverSome areas are being colonised more slowly.

Along the river

There’s still evidence of debris from the floods, but the tree trunks are starting to rot.

Along the riverHimalayan balsam didn’t grow here before but now it’s everywhere, probably washed down along the river when it flooded. It’s such an invasive species, there are laws about transplanting it, but Mother Nature doesn’t know that.

There are a lot of gorse bushes too, some are getting quite large.

Along the riverAlso buddleia which again was probably washed down in the flood waters, they seem to grow on every railway line but I haven’t seen them growing along the river before.
Along the riverThis pond, used to only fill up after heavy rain, it’s now a permanent feature.

Along the riverYou can see it’s very close to the river. It’s interesting to look at this new channel and see if the pond water is draining into the river, or if the river is filling up the pond. I’ve seen it flow both ways.

Along the river

Soon we will need a bridge to cross it as it’s getting deeper .

Along the river

After my walk along the river I took a detour through the nettles and brambles.

Along the riverIt was worth it as the bullace tree gave me great bounty, there will be jam making , something to enjoy over the winter months when summer seems so far away.

Along the river

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Ceramic Earring Charms Shop Update

earring charms and ceramic pendants

This week I have been listing ceramic earring charms and ceramic pendants over in my Etsy shop.
I made these, along with a lot more ceramic jewellery components quite a while ago but it’s taken me some time to get round to doing the glazing. There are a lot more to follow including some made from black clay. Hopefully I will have those glazed this coming week.

I find listing components very time consuming what with taking and editing so many photos, but it’s worth all the time involved in the end when my shop section looks like this.

I should have listed a few more by the time my blog goes live on Sunday, but they keep selling as I list them 🙂

I will be back with more ceramic jewelry components soon, but now I have Autumn leaves on my mind, they won’t be around much longer, I’m watching the leaves fall from the copper beech in my garden as I type.

Have a lovely Sunday.

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Ceramic Wall Art – Leaves And Fishes

Just a short post today; I have been taking things more slowly this past week, having said that I have a lot of clay work drying, I have a box of finished items that need listing in my Etsy shop, I’ve been sewing, and cooking for the freezer. So I haven’t been unproductive but I feel less frantic about getting everything done having given myself permission to slow down.

I have a bit of a plan, part of which is to get the raku stock made now rather than wait until people start Christmas shopping. It’s not much fun braving a dull cold and even rainy day to raku fire under the porch. I have a few more firing days planned in the next couple of weeks before the weather cools down.

So for now I’m listing leaves and fishes in my shop, Kiln Fired Art

Here’s some of my favourite leaves in my shop now.
ceramic leaf wall art

ceramic decorationsThere are ceramic fish too, including mackerel and sprats.

bathroom wall art ceramic fish

shoal of fish ceramic wall art bathroom decoration

I had a stoneware glaze firing yesterday so lots more to come including earring charms and succulent pots as well as some new items, I will show you what came out of the kiln shortly.

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Dyeing my Japanese crossover apron

While the sun was shining last weekend I started to prune my apple trees, the leaves were stripped off and put in my large catering pot to make some dye. According to my books they should yield a nice bright yellow green dye with an alum mordant.

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The pot simmered away, giving an apple / cabbage smell to the house which wasn’t  unpleasant. The liquid turned a golden yellow colour.
UntitledAfter straining out the leaves the mordanted apron went into the pot and was boiled for over an hour. It was rinsed and hung out to dry.
UntitledThe colour was a nice golden yellow, not green at all, sorry I forgot to get a photo.

The next day I dyed the other apron with a turquoise dye, then I gathered my printing leaves choosing ones I know print well, geranium and cotinus, rose and wild strawberry. I used an iron dip on the leaves and some vinegar on the fabric. The fabric was just damp, as I have been told this helps in achieving clear prints.

I thought the best way to position the leaves would be to turn the apron inside out, lift the flaps, place the leaves then fold over the flap, then repeat on the other side. I added some onion skins too.
UntitledThe apron was folded and folded again, bundled and tied ready for steaming in the fish kettle. (Sorry no photo)
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UntitledOnce my bundles were cold  they were untied and unrolled.
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UntitledThe leaves were picked off , the aprons were washed. Sadly the turquoise dye washed out as it doesn’t work on cellulose fibres, but I had forgotten that as I’m used to working with silk. I have to say I was slightly underwhelmed by the leaf prints, and I may have gone overboard on the onion skins. One of the things you have to accept with eco printing is the serendipitous nature of the process, but I like surprises. Cotton is supposed to be the hardest fabric to eco print on, but I have had some great results on cotton blankets used when dyeing silk scarves so I had hoped for better results, more well defined leaf prints.
Once ironed I think I like them more.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronThe apricot colour is stronger than it’s showing on my monitor, it is a pretty colour.

Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronI had planned to hang them on the apple trees to photograph them, but the weather is so bad I had to photograph them indoors.

Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronWhat constantly amazes me with eco printing are the variations, these two had the same fabric, mordant, leaves, onion skins, and steamed together and yet some onion skins have printed green on this apron but not on the other one.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronThere are some areas that I really like on both aprons, and I love the apricot colour from the apple leaf dye, I think the onion skins modified the colour slightly.
Eco printing on Japanese cross back apronMy daughter loves them and thinks they would make great tops for festival going.

I dyed a couple of pieces of fabric that could be used for pockets, I was undecided whether to add a front pocket but I think it would be very useful on an apron, don’t you ?

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My Japanese crossover back apron

In readiness for pruning the apple trees today I have been sewing. I used another one of my cotton sheets that used to cover my craft fair tables to make a Japanese crossover back apron.

I didn’t have a pattern but I did have a PJ top that was similar in style so I cut a newspaper pattern from it, adapting the shape as I thought it should be, this was purely guesswork but it’s just an old sheet.

Cross over back apron
I made bias binding from the scraps, there was enough for the neck and armholes.

Cross over back apronThe shoulders were stitched with a french seam.

I did a double neatening seam around the edge.

Cross over back apronThe cross over was stitched to hold it in place

Cross over back apron

Then the bias binding was stitched around the neck and armholes.

Cross over back apron

Here it is waiting to be dyed. It’s a bit big but it’s a good cover up and there’s room for a big jumper underneath so no more paint getting on my clothes.

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I’ll update you when I do the dyeing process, I  should get the apple trees pruned today and my dye pot going.

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New eco printed silk scarves

As part of my plan to work with the seasons I have been eco printing silk scarves in plenty time to stock my shop for Christmas.

I normally steam all my scarves but I’ve bought a huge aluminium pot for fabric dyeing so I thought I’d boil some scarves to see how they would turn out. I love the effect of the twine  from tying the bundles. I got some beautiful and unusual asymmetrical scarves, that  also have a mirror image effect from the folding.

Eco Printed Scarves

This is all one scarf, it has sweet chestnut leaves and geranium.

Close up of a sweet chestnut leaf.Eco Printed Scarves

This shows a print from the other side of a leaf, with twine marks.

Eco Printed Scarves

I love the way the pattern is graded along the length of the scarf, almost like 2 scarves in one, the other end is much lighter. Eco Printed Scarves

I think this scarf is my favourite out of this batch, I love the asymmetrical ends, the rose leaves and the twine marks. Can you see the ‘butterflies’?

Eco Printed Scarves

Eco Printed Scarves

The folding with leaves and onion skins create symmetry. Eco Printed Scarves

Eco Printed Scarves

Eco Printed ScarvesI steamed some scarves as well, these two have been dyed with a food based dye before placing the leaves.
Eco Printed Scarves
Eco Printed Scarves

This one was left the natural silk colour, this scarf has some gorgeous leaf prints showing the detailing from the veins.

Eco Printed Scarves

 

Eco Printed Scarves

There are more photos and more silk scarves over in my Etsy shop if you would like a look.

I love the eco dying process so much, working with foliage connects me with nature, and sometimes a memorable walk, but also I love not being totally in control and working with serendipity, but of course I don’t always win them all. I printed a cotton T shirt and it looked like someone had washed the floor with it. Not a good look.

I have to prune my apple trees  soon, I hope to make a dye from the shoots and leaves, then make a Japanese cross over back apron top, more to follow.

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Working with the seasons – trying to keep up

A lot of the work that I enjoy doing involves working with the seasons, using the leaves and foliage available at certain times of the year. Last year I only got a couple of hosta pots made before the leaves fell victim to the frosts. So this year I patiently waited for them to come into leaf. But then we had a couple of trips away so it’s only now that I have had the time to make some more pots. I made some small incense stick holders and tea light holders, or they could even be used as a ring tray.
UntitledI made some ‘fossil’ tiles too, but I missed the buttercups and late spring flowers that I wanted to use so I tried some new ideas like clematis and lavender as well as seed heads.

Working with the seasons

Working with the seasons
UntitledAnother thing about working with the seasons is the weather, it’s been quite hot so I’ve worked in the garden, playing mud pies and recycling some clay.
Working with the seasonsIt’s firming up nicely now.

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I took some time in the shade to make some fish, hares, and soap dishes for my handmade soap. I think I need to make a few more for the shop. I had to work quickly in the heat and keep everything damp while I was working. Handling the clay kept me feeling cool, I love playing with mud on a hot day.
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I’ve been out collecting leaves for eco printing too, more on that later.

 

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