Tag Archives: ecoprinting

Ecoprinting with blankets and barriers.

There are several reasons why you would use blankets and barriers when ecoprinting.

  • A blanket provides good contact between paper and plant material.
  • When using thick plant material that could damage the paper a felt or wool blanket acts like a cushion levelling things up and allowing good contact with the paper.
  • A blanket can be dipped in a solution such as iron water to change/ enhance the print. There are other solutions that you can use too but I want to keep things simple as I hope to encourage beginners to try ecoprinting.
  • A blanket can be used as a carrier for dye to impart colour to the ecoprint. This can be a natural plant based dye or it can be a manmade dye, I use Procion dyes or natural dyes.
  • Fabric, paper or plastic can be used as a barrier to prevent the colour from one plant bleeding through onto the other prints.
  • Textured material like lace , hessian or log bags can give texture or pattern to the print.

How to ecoprint with dye blankets or plastic barriers

The method for ecoprinting with dye blankets or barrier is basically the same as my usual ecoprinting method only the blanket/ barrier is layered in between the papers when making the bundle.

Dye blankets.

I like to use acrylic or wool felt, or old wool blanket, old cotton sheets or even kitchen paper. These are not treated with any mordant as you want the dye to transfer to the paper. I find that often the foliage does leave a print on the blanket, especially on old cotton sheets, I like the added bonus of being able to use these in other projects. The poor ones get used again as blankets.

I soak the blankets in dye solution while I pick my plants, it’s then wrung out and ready to use.

Plastic barriers.

A lot of ecoprinters don’t use plastic but if I have some plastic bags that something came in I use those cut to size.

Texture barriers.

I also use the bags that logs come in, or lace fabric or trim which leave an interesting texture or pattern on the print.

In these photos the turquoise dye is Procion dye and the pink is Lac, a natural dye. I made two bundles, one with each colour and boiled them separately so the colours didn’t mix.

A reused felt blanket and a cotton sheet blanket
A plastic barrier

A couple of layers of kitchen paper.
Log bag and a cotton blanket, then leaves and paper were laid on top.

The bundles were tied and boiled in the usual way.

Here’s a video of me opening the bundles, it’s a bit shaky with only one hand.

The prints.

Left print has some fabric texture if you look closely where the leaves meet. Right print has log bag texture.

Procion dye leaf prints
ecoprinting with dye blankets
Lac prints

Here are the blankets washed and ironed, I will use these in some textile art.

Old cotton sheet
Old cotton sheet on the left, acrylic felt on the right.

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.

Ecoprinting throughout the year – January, part 2.

This is the second post about my ecoprinting / botanical printing journey throughout the year. During my journey I will share photos of my prints in order for you to see what works best at what time of year. Even in the depths of winter we can still achieve good results.

I will try different papers and mordants, dye blankets etc along the way.

If you want to see the results for the rest of the year ( I will post each month) then sign up to my blog to get email notification of new posts or type “Ecoprinting throughout the year” into the search box. There will be other posts comparing plants at different times of the year for example, and a beginners step by step guide to ecoprinting on paper, my way.

January – Boil 1. The Control – no mordant or leaf dip.

Pot – Rusty roasting tin

Water – Tap with vinegar, about 2 tablespoons to 2 litres of water.

Paper – Seawhites and Windsor & Newton cartridge paper, printer paper.

Mordant – none

Leaf dip – none

Plants – cranesbill geranium, rose, strawberry, bramble, fern, herb robert, spleenwort.

Cooking time – submerged and boiled 45 minutes , turned and boiled 45 minutes.

Observations -This is my control reference with no mordant or leaf dip.

Images

Boil 2 – as boil 1 except:-

Leaf dip– copper sulphate 2%

Images

Boil 3 – as boil 1 except :-

Mordant – Alum Acetate 2.5%

Leaf dip – copper sulphate 2%

Images

Conclusion – Copper leaf dip gives brighter colours, more gold/ yellow/ brown prints. The fern that printed a light blue green and was totally unexpected. Spleenwort printed rust.

Comparison photo

Top left no mordant or leaf dip, top right no mordant and copper leaf dip. Bottom AA mordant and copper leaf dip.

It’s been a busy week.

I’ve had quite a busy week with packing up orders every day. It’s been a bit dull so difficult to get photos to list new items to Kiln Fired Art on Etsy, but eventually I got there. I made a simple stand to photograph my ecoprinted scarves, what a difference that has made to sales. It just shows the importance of having good photos of your work.

The first 2 scarves are ecoprints on viscose, these are really large lightweight sarong sized scarves, so many ways to wear these and also very affordable too.

The peach ecoprinted scarf below is a heavier weight silk crepe scarf, it’s such a pretty colour.

I managed to get out for a walk in search of inspiration once the rain stopped, I found a lot of inspiration in the woods, forest bathing or shinrin yoku as the Japanese call it really lifted my spirits.

Today I am framing and photographing ecoprints, also making paper packs for crafters. I am wondering what my next ecoprint project will be as I want to bring them into my paintings in some way to give a sense of place, I’m thinking collage.

I would like to thank everyone who has watched the Youtube video of my little book, in a week it’s had over 1200 views and some amazing comments, I knew it was precious to me but I am overwhelmed so many people love it too.

Enjoy your Sunday and stay safe.

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