Tag Archives: eco printing

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.

 

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.

Eco printing on silk

My fish kettle arrived so I was keen to try it out for eco printing . I bought some broom handles and cut them to the right length. I found plastic pipe would collapse when it was steamed.

UntitledThere aren’t many leaves about now but a lovely lady sent me some vine leaves to experiment with so I was keen to try them, especially the purple ones, I know cotinus gives a lovely purple print so I was hoping these would do the same.  Also I had picked up a bag full of leaves on the way to the shops the other day, I might be getting a reputation as the village mad woman. The mix included oak, beech and sycamore leaves, and fortunately my garden is full of geraniums so plenty of those leaves which print very well.

Here’s some closeups of my new silk scarves which are now in my Etsy shop

Eco printsilk scarvesI love the element of serendipity involved with eco printing, opening the bundle is like Christmas morning. Look at the detail and colour on this vine leaf, I love the way the colour has bled, just like a watercolour.

silk scarf with leavesGeraniums, (that’s cranesbill, not pelargonium) are my favourite leaves to print with, you never know what the colour will be, look at the chartreuse one above and the mottled one below.

silk scarf hand printed

Eco prints on silkThese geraniums are different again, and do you see those seed heads they are burnets. I used to gather those with my Grandpa, he made a wine with them that was a deep purple red like port. I hoped to see that colour but maybe they were picked at the wrong time so I will try again next year.

eco gifts for womenI found some beautiful papers that were in my flower press which I’d forgotten about. I would love to have framed them up but in the end I listed them as craft packs, or folks can frame them themselves.

Eco printed paper for scrap booking bookmaking journaling card making

Eco printed paper packs for paper craftsI’m still waiting for the arrival of the eucalyptus leaves which I ordered ages ago, I have given up on them so if anyone has some I’d happily pay the postage for them.

Enjoy your day 🙂

Eco Printed Silk And Cotton Scarves

I’ve had such a lot of fun eco printing scarves this week. I could happily keep them all, as I  look at them oohing and ahhing,  but as there is so much I want to explore with this technique, and there are only so many scarves a woman needs I have decided that I need to sell some in order to delve deeper into the mysteries of eco printing.

So in order to put them up for sale I needed some good photos, this was easier said than done, I don’t have a mannequin and my neck is a bit too old to show the scarves off to their best.

So I tried laying them out on the floor, as they are eco printed there are some incidental areas and I feel any potential buyer should see the whole scarf.  I didn’t like the look of them on the carpet.

Eco Printed ScarvesI tried taking a video along the length of the scarf.

Then I folded them on a white background, this was better but I want to show the whole scarf and all the delicious details ( more about that later).

Eco Printed ScarvesAfter taking some photos of the details I thought the closeup pictures don’t show that it’s a scarf.

My Mum used to say “Where there’s a will there’s a way” so I got thinking of what I could use as an alternative neck, so I tried the newel post on the stairs, which worked but it was too distracting.

I used a coat hanger, which I hooked over the cupboard door, the scarf is not opened out enough to show the detail.
Eco Printed Scarves

I hung the scarf over the cupboard door which was good in the fact you can see all the pattern detail of the whole scarf in 2 photos.

Eco Printed Scarves

Eco Printed Scarves

If I’m ever going to add  eco printed textiles to my Etsy shop I will have to work on my photos, and get the iron out 🙂 It’s not the best time of year to take great photos, it’s just too dull and dark.

Now back to the detail photos, there are some amazingly detailed and beautiful areas that I want to share.

I mentioned in my last post cotinus leaves are some of my favourites to print with, and how at this time of year they give a purple print and a beige print dependant on how Autumnal the leaf is on the bush. Not sure if that’s the best description, but the ones that are turning give a different colour.
Eco Printed ScarvesYou can also see a rose leaf in the photo above, I love the ghost outline, but others, as you can see below print as a dark leaf, maybe it depends which way up you put the leaf.
Eco Printed Scarves
This photo also shows another lovely printing leaf, geranium (not pelargoniums), here it’s a lovely textured olive green but below it’s not so textured

Eco Printed ScarvesSome have a halo effect
Eco Printed Scarves
Some were a bright yellow green colour

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I also got great results with ferns, oak leaves and wild strawberry leaves. I used natural dyes made from logwood, fustic and madder roots for the backgrounds. These gave a lovely rich purple, pale yellow and a soft shell pink respectively.

I find the whole process totally fascinating, and I’m hooked. I want to play around with mordants and pH values to see what happens, and I’m feeling the need to buy a fish kettle so I can work larger.

These scarves are available on my Facebook page.

It’s all about leaves – eco printing and ikebana bowls.

It’s been all about leaves this week, partly because it’s the time of year when you better hurry and pick some before they are gone, and secondly I got the hosta leaf ikebana bowls glazed. You might have seen them on social media but here they are if you missed them.
ikebana vase from Kiln Fired Art

ikebana bowlsI had to go out and pick some plant material to get my photos done, there wasn’t much about but it only shows you can make a beautiful ikebana arrangement with a few twigs and sprigs.

ceramic leaf ikebana containerWhile I was out picking I realised if I wanted to do some eco printing then I would have to do it now, my cotinus had very few leaves left on it.

I wanted to explore printing on wool, the fabric I have was fairly expensive so I’ve been saving it, but I’m not going to progress if I don’t jump in and have a go, so I did.

My fabric was soaked in alum mordant, then the cotinus and dried Acer leaves laid on half the fabric, the other half was folded over smoothed flat then rolled on a plastic pipe and tied with string. Then put in my tin with vinegar , water and a bit of rusty water and boiled for 45 min, turned and boiled again. When I say boiled it was a very very gentle simmer.

After cooling I opened up the bundle and picked off the leaves and washed and dried the fabric. You have to leave it until it’s dry before you can really see how the leaves printed.

I like the way the design looks graded from the outside of the roll to the inside of the roll.

Eco dyeing on wool

The right side was the outside, it takes on more colour and you can see the string marks, which look quite interesting.

UntitledThe background is cleaner in the inside of the roll. What I noticed was the cotinus leaves have printed differently.Untitled

The fresher looking red purple ones printed purple, as they did in summer.

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The more Autumnal ones printed an ochre colour

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I decided to have another go with some geranium leaves, this time I put some turmeric powder in the water bath.

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This is how it looked after 2 hours.

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This one doesn’t really grab me, but there’s another challenge. I intend making 2 cushion covers with these. I’m thinking of having the string design on the bottom edge on one side and the lighter fabric to the top and on the reverse.

I think I’m going to have to do some more work on the fabric, maybe some stitching, leaf outlines possibly, or just running stitch, or stitched mark making. Or maybe something else, only I don’t know what, so if you have any ideas please shout up 🙂

UntitledThe other side of the cloth is an even darker mustard from the turmeric, I was surprised how deep the colour turned out. I will certainly use it again.

The postman has brought me some wood chips and roots for dyeing so I think I better grab more leaves before they are gone. Lots to do.

Getting to grips with Instagram, and my frame has arrived

I’ve been trying to up my game on social media, I must admit it’s not really in my nature to do all this social media stuff, but I thought I could manage a daily photo or two on Instagram.

I have been doing this for 2 weeks now, I’ve gained a lot of followers but soon found following everyone back just caused chaos in my feed as I can’t find the people who I like to see whilst having my coffee.

I have shared my Instagram posts onto my Facebook page, ( which I thought was a good thing as FB no longer allow you to post on your personal page from places like WordPress). My insights tell me my reach is up and so is engagement so maybe sharing is a good thing, so long as I’m not boring people and looking spammy.

Twitter doesn’t share your photo, only the Instagram link, do people really click on links?

Getting back to Instagram, in one week I was invited to 2 online galleries, one of which wanted me to pay for the privilege, the other seemed a bit iffy too. That old saying about if it seems to good to be true then it is, came to mind. I was also asked by 2 instagrammies if I wanted to buy followers, why?

All this social media stuff is just not me, it’s wearing and it eats away at my precious time, so you may see a daily post from me but if you really want to know what I’m up to then my blog is the place to be. Having said that I like the immediacy of Instagram, maybe you only see an odd post, like a snapshot of my day, but later you would see the whole story on my blog. I think they work well together.

So what have I been doing this week? Glazing and more glazing, waiting for a break in the weather to do a raku firing. Edited to say this happened yesterday  but  you  will  have to wait a while for my post. 😊 Or look on my Instagram  😀

Working on the Art Elements theme challenge, will show you at the end of the month.

Also my frame arrived for ‘The Thread That Binds Us‘ mixed media artwork, I’m so pleased with this third or is it fourth frame, the colour is just perfect for the artwork, don’t you think? It’s not the best photo, it’s a dark brownish grey which really picks up the darks in the prints.
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Sticking down all those squares is a nightmare to get them lined up as the binding thread is not the same length everywhere, maybe that’s a metaphor on life.

I have put a key on the back of the picture with an explanation for each square, plant type, where I found it, memories of the day etc. I love this piece very much but then it is full of memories, I think it’s become one of my most treasured possessions.

You might have read about my struggle to find the right frame, let me know what you think, did I make the right choice?

The Thread That Binds Us – Memories of Oban Artwork

Following on from my last post about our holiday in Oban and the Inner Hebrides, I wanted to make a reminder of our trip as this was a special holiday, we had our 40th wedding anniversary and my 60th while we were there, and also you already know how much we love the place.

While we were there, out on our walks I gathered some leaves, twigs, lichens, stones, shells etc as a reminder of our days out. I know the day I picked up the lichen from the woodland floor was the day the roe deer came to visit us on the beach. The seaweed and the piece of slate came from Luing, which was the day the otters didn’t show up. The limpets from Mull remind me we couldn’t get on the first ferry to Iona and had to wait….etc.

The challenge was finding a way to put the pieces together, and as I’m experimenting with eco dyeing at the moment that’s were I started. As always some things printed better than others, the oak leaves from the wood printed well, so did the berries and honeysuckle from the car park in Oban.

Once printed I wondered how to go next, I thought of a book but knew I would probably never open it.

I decided to make a picture; I was thinking of how myself and OH have become connected to this area over the years, both of us enjoying the outdoors, but also learning from each other. OH loves the geology and the topography, and my main interest are flora and fauna, also the beauty of the landscape. So he informs me the slate has iron pyrites crystals and I pointed out the sea eagle, we make a great team.

So knowing how we are connected to this place I had the idea of stitching to represent the ‘thread that binds us’.

Some of the found items were hand stitched to the paper.

Now all I need is a frame, it’s not mounted in this photo so the squares will be in straight lines when it is. 🙂
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I intend making a ‘memory key’; a plan of the squares to attach to the back, with plant names, where they were found and memories of that day written in each square.

This piece is destined to become our of our treasures.