The Rain Has Stopped So It’s Eco Printing Time

I have been eco printing for about 4 years.  Some people call it nature printing, others call it botanical dyeing and others have inventive ways of all saying the same thing. The short description is that I coax pigment from leaves, twigs, berries and flowers and deposit it onto cloth in interesting patterns.  I have been in love with the serendipitous results from the beginning. Lately I have been combining it with other surface design.

I have been working on a series for the Artist’s Altered Book Collaboration group I belong to. This year we are making 10 x 10 art work to exchange with one of the other 10 people in the group. Many of us decided to do a series since we are to use our own voice for this work.  My series uses silk Dupioni that is eco printed, quilted and enhanced with other techniques. I have mailed 3 pieces so far and have these 2 to go out soon.

Time Out for Natural Dyeing

There are always lots of projects beconning to me. One that hasn’t had any up close and personal time lately is natural dyeing. I told myself I need to use the dyed fabric from last year so I would walk by the dye studio and wistfully whisper …next year. But then the flowers and leaves are ending their cycle for the year and I caved in to the magic of nature. It had to be now or way too much later.

I don’t chase a perfect leaf imprint like many natural/eco print artists do. If they happen amid the marbling of color created during the process, that’s a bonus.

Ready to rinse out to see if the color stays.
Ready to rinse out to see if the color stays.
Rayon scarf with dogwood, smoke tree and marigolds
Rayon scarf with dogwood, smoke tree and marigolds
 Habatoi scarf wrapped around black locust pods. The rusty red was extracted from the pods. A pleasant surprise.
Habatoi scarf wrapped around black locust pods. The rusty red was extracted from the pods. A pleasant surprise.

Wow…Our latest Eco Bundles

The Studio Tour starts in a week!  I am the great procrastinator floating along like I have all the time in the world. So I gave us a kick in the butt to get the last few natural printed gauze scarves ready for the tour.  We collected leaves a few days ago for the project, fresh and not dead fall. I guess a purist would cringe at that, but I am a Master Gardener and proper pruning was used so no trees or bushes were harmed.

We used combinations of leaves and mordants. A couple of the scarves were failed projects but the way this dyeing goes, they just added layers of mordant to get these fantastic results. I think I know which were the red cabbage blah results but I’m not certain. We were worried that the loose weave of the cotton gauze wouldn’t get good results. We could not be happier with this batch. Of course we would never be able to exactly replicate any of them, but that is what’s fun and exciting about this process.  I am linking to http://ninamariesayre.blogspot.com

One of the mad dyers.
One of the mad dyers.

Mixed Leaf printing Mixed printing with vegetation Mixed Leaf Natural Print

Hot Bundles from the dye pot

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Great stainless steel asparagus pot and basket works great.
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Out of the pot and cooled off for a few days.
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Let the magic be revealed. This piece was rust dyed cotton bundled with dogwood leaves.
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Some successes in the first pot. The silk is intriguing but didn’t print as well as the rust dyed cottons.