Tag Archives: ecoprinting throughout the year

Ecoprinting throughout the year – May

This post is about different pots and how new versus used equipment gives different results, as well as continuing my ecoprinting throughout the year theme.

If you want to see the posts for the rest of the year type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box.

May.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin, and also a new roasting tin. Also new tile supports as well as used tiles.

Water – Tap water with vinegar.

Paper – Cartridge paper, mixed media paper, watercolour paper.

Mordant – alum acetate

Leaf dip – rust water

Plants – Cranesbill geranium, red elderberry, herb robert, cow parsley, red ligularia, astilbe, beech and rowan leaves.

Cooking time – 40 minutes, turned, 40 minutes.

Blanket -none.

Images

This bundle was left overnight before going in the rusty pot. I don’t think it has made any difference to the prints.

Plants from the rusty roasting pan

The print below was cooked in the new roasting pan.

Plants from the new roasting pan

Below is a comparison of prints, on the left is the old rusty pan, on the right the new pan was used.

A comparison of the rusty pan on the left and the new pan on the right. The new pan print is much brighter but less tonal contrast than the one done in the old rusty pan.

This ligularia leaf is a good example of how some leaves give different prints from each side of the leaf.

A great example of how some leaves print differently depending on which side is in contact with the paper.

Conclusion – The plants in the rusty roasting tin are less vibrant in colour than the ones with new tile supports, cooked in the new roasting tin. The prints done in the rusty pan have more tonal contrast due to the iron in the pot. The ligularia leaf prints show how sometimes each side of the leaf prints differently.

My next post will give step by step instructions for ecoprinting on paper, I hope you will try it for yourself. You need some rusty water so if you haven’t started yours off I suggest you do so now, you can read about making it here. Adding some fine grade wire wool and vinegar will speed up the process.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – April

It’s April and there’s lots of new foliage about now to print with. I have deliberately picked new leaves from my favourite plants which I know print well throughout the year. Also I had to try some of the flowers that are out this month.

If you want to see the rest of the year type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box.

April.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap water with vinegar.

Paper – Cartridge paper, mixed media paper, watercolour paper.

Mordant – alum acetate

Leaf dip – rust water

Plants – Flowering currant, rose, cranesbill geranium, elder, astilbe, herb Robert, grape hyacinth, dandelion, bluebells.

Cooking time – 40 minutes, turned, 40 minutes.

Blanket -none.

Images

New rose leaves, the top 2 pictures show both sides of the leaf.
Flowering currant, the one on the left was printed this time last year in a different pot.
Cranesbill geraniums showing both sides of the leaf.
Herb Robert and astilbe.
Grape hyacinth, dandelions and bluebells.
Elder leaf.

Conclusion – As I already mentioned I chose leaves from plants I know print well, but a lot of plants are not so good at this time of year, the bluebells, grape hyacinth and dandelions didn’t print so well, but it really depends on what you want to use the prints for, sometimes a delicate print is what’s required.

I used a very rusty roasting tin for these prints which I believe has interacted with the leaf tannins to produce the dark prints. But there are so many variables, which for me makes ecoprinting exciting.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – March

March is here, it’s time for more ecoprinting / botanical printing experiments.

If you want to see the rest of the year type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box.

In the future there will be posts comparing plants for example, and a beginners step by step guide to printing on paper my way.

March.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap water with vinegar.

Paper – Windsor & Newton cartridge paper, watercolour paper

Mordant – alum acetate

Leaf dip – rust water, the cranesbill leaves were soaked for about 5 minutes rather than just dipped in rust water.

Plants – dried acer leaves, dried wild cranesbill , aquilegia, new rose leaves, hellebore, gerbera from a bouquet of flowers.

Cooking time – 40 minutes, turned, 40 minutes.

Blanket – hellebore and gerbera being thick flowers benefit from a thick blanket like felt or old blanket.

Images

The gerbera flower in this photo is just the stain coming through from the flower on the other side of the paper.

Conclusion – Aquilegia leaf printed rust , which was unexpected so was the print from the new rose leaf. The dried acer and cranesbill were as good as I expected. The cranesbill prints were dark due to the longer soak in iron water. The bright pink gerbera printed yellow.

As the leaf buds are starting to open next month I will be trying out ecoprinting on paper with new foliage.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – February

February has come around quickly, it’s time for another post about my ecoprinting / botanical printing journey throughout the year. During my journey I will share photos of my prints to see what works best at what time of year, and more.

If you want to see the rest of these “year posts” type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box. There will be other posts comparing plants for example, and a beginners step by step guide to printing on paper my way.

February.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap with vinegar, I used the boiling water from the day before topped up.

Paper – Windsor & Newton cartridge paper

Mordant – alum acetate

Leaf dip – rust water

Plants -hellebore, cranesbill, aconite, herb Robert, daffodil, snowdrop, dried leaves.

Cooking time – 40 minutes, turned, 40 minutes.

Blanket -fabric dipped in iron water and rung out. Used on the snowdrops and dried sycamore leaf. (More about blankets later).

Observations – The wine coloured hellebores printed blue grey the prints are ok but some of the plant material damaged the paper as they are bulky flowers.

The daffodil printed better than I expected.

The dried leaves soaked in iron water printed well especially the sycamore leaf.

Snowdrops didn’t impart much colour (as expected) however ghost prints were achieved by using the iron blanket and the reused rusty water in the roasting tin helped in making darker prints.

Herb Robert printed black, probably because there was a lot of iron present in the pot.

The cranesbill didn’t print as well as expected. Maybe this was because the bulky flowers of the helebores prevented the cranesbill leaves having good contact with the paper.

The aconite leaves printed but the flower didn’t leave any colour at all.

Images

Conclusion – Bulky plant material like hellebores would probably be better with a thick fabric blanket between the papers acting like a cushion which gives better contact with the paper and less damage. Good contact with the paper is essential for detailed prints.

Making rust water for ecoprinting.

If you would like to join in and ecoprint later in the year now would be a good time to think about making some rusty iron water.

You need a bucket preferably with a lid (not essential), I use an empty container that fat ball bird food came in. You need some rusty metal items, or just iron items will do. I have nails, a bicycle chain, and pieces of rusty iron that I have picked up on my walks. An old horseshoe, pipe, washers, iron rods or door hinges would be great.

To get my bucket of rust water going quickly I added some wire wool which rusts away quite quickly. Water is then added to the bucket, I think I half filled my bucket but it depends how much iron you have, it’s not an exact science, this is left to sit somewhere where to rust.

Tip – Adding vinegar with the wire wool helps speed up the rusting process.

It takes a while for the iron water to develop but eventually it will look like this. I have tried not to disturb the sludge on the bottom so you can see my bits of metal more easily.

The bucket gets topped up with water now and then so I always have rust water to hand, and I might add more bits of rusty metal when I find them.