Eco printing workshop

I ran this workshop yesterday and spent some time preparing for this last week. Imagine my horror when I learnt that I had no idea what had happened to the samples I made last year!  I’ve had a busy few days making samples, mordanting cloth and generally preparing. One of the biggest headaches of course was that I had only one steamer and there’s no way that would have taken 8 bundles. Fortunately Hubby is very understanding and spent some time constructing a steamer platform for inside my old jam pan – problem solved.

People brought leaves ready pressed and we set to laying the plant material out between a layer of cotton muslin and one of silk gauze.

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They look like very beautiful works of art. We tried to use as wide a range of leaves as possible to give a greater variety in the finished printing. Whilst we were waiting for the bundles to steam we made flowers.

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As you can see, I restricted the number of wool colours we had to work with to just black, white, olive green and old gold, all chosen to enhance the finished printing. You can not believe how exciting it is when the bundles are opened.

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Once people had chance to look at the results it was time to decide whether or not to apply ferrous sulphate to the print. This will darken the print and in some cases bring out areas which look blank and can be done by spraying or painting on the solution.

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I’d made up two solution; one weak, one strong. Most people started with the weak solution but in the interests of experimentation, couldn’t help themselves and ended up trying both.

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It’s amazing how much of the detail is retained in the plant print and sometimes, unexpected bonuses like outlines.

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After much oohing and aahing we started the business of nuno felting. Most felted the silk but a couple of people chose to use the cotton muslin. From left to right: muslin on a white wool base, silk bordered, silk on a white wool base.

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The next three are all on silk, the first two on white wool bases and the far right on a green wool base.

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A dramatic border on the next, framing the print beautifully.

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A white ruffled border. Although I like the white I’m not sure if the ruffling doesn’t detract from the printing a little but it is very pretty.

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We didn’t know exactly what plant prints and shades of dye we would achieve but you can see now, why I restricted the Merino colour choices. Don’t the brooches look well with the finished scarves?

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If I can fit another workshop in in the next couple of months I will but it’ll be a mid week workshop. Anyone interested?

 

6 Replies to “Eco printing workshop”

  1. Hi Angela

    The whole process looks really interesting. I’d love to have a go, so you could put my name down for a mid-week session, provided it doesn’t fall in the middle of me having my kitchen refitted! Would it be at your house?

  2. Would love to try this. However, mid week for me would be Monday or a Tuesday because of work!!
    Sue x

  3. When / where do you run these workshops?

    Very interested in this technique – is there anything special about the steaming process ? How long for?

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