Friday, November 9, 2018

Eco Printing Pt. 3

In lieu of what happened last time (previous post), I decided to try different shingles to see if the black on the print might have had something to do with the shingles. I went to Home Depot and bought a bundle, brought them home and dove in.
My husband is a woodworker and has lots of tools..many of which I've become very comfortable with using. This table saw is big and loud, but does a quick and accurate job of cutting the shingles to size.
It's hard to tell, but the thickness is different from end to end as you can see... to make it easy for clamping I will have to clamp the sandwich flip-flop the thick and thin ends together.
I used a print to calculate size...sets for 8 x 10s, sets for 5 x 7s and one for bookmarks..
The old ones which are warped still work but am anxious to try the new ones.

I also wanted to try some handmade paper to print on.
Here are some before and afters...befores on top, afters on bottom.
The Maple on the left did not print well...looks like the water did not permeate parts of the leaf...still getting black areas and I don't know why.

Another set of before and afters...None of them were permeated with water bath enough...these are usually in the middle and probably clamped too tightly. far, I'm not thrilled and eco printing is often like that...just have no idea what you're going to get.
On some of these, I'll go back and print over them...and some that are not totally printed but just a faint image in parts can also be pretty on their own.

I used Kilimanjaro 130 llb watercolor paper from Cheap Joes (their store brand) and it works very well. The paper runs 22" x 30" with 2 deckled edges. I use a deckle edge ruler to do all 4 edges. It's a little more work but looks nice. Sometimes (like one above on right), I also burn the edge with a woodburning tool.
Here is an example of how I printed over a "not so great" print....think it looks interesting.

If you can find large leaf Eucalyptus, go for far the best for printing. All I've been able to get lately is the small leaf.

Here's what's so fun about using a heavier paper, the mirror ghost image. You get the one image that has direct contact with the leaf (right) and the back side of the neighboring paper with a mirror image. Sometimes both sides of the same paper are good and a hard decision as to which side to use.

The leaves on the left are Sumac...we have none on our property but some along a little country road near my husband drives, I jump out of the car and clip, clip real fast and hop back in...Sumac prints really well. 
The Maples print very well...

and above, overprints which I think turned out fine....and nice to be able to save a card.

Rose leaves and time even more experimenting. I am linked to Off the Wall and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Eco Printing Pt. 2

Here are the results of the first printing done with older shingles, a fresh water/vinegar bath and leaves shown in last post.
I'm semi-happy with the results...some are good, some not so much which always mystifys me as it is the same set of circumstances. But I have to say, that's part of the fun, not knowing what you'll get and trying other options. The ferns which have worked well before did not this time; the oakleaf hydrangea is pretty much a sure thing.
The rose leaves are always great, the marigold leaves got blurry on bottom. Actually the bottom on both are very dark and I'm not sure why.

 The Red Bud on the left is good but again, lost some of it's print at the top. I'm finding, if the bundle is clamped too tightly, the water/vinegar solution can not get in to help in the transfer of color.
Goatsbeard, on right, not on the list as being a good printer but I just had to see for myself...and Vickie was right....not good
The beautiful maple has some darkness near stem at bottom and the top  - no printing at all. You can see where the print should have been but a lack of water in the bath, prevented it from printing. The paper was actually dry in that area when I undid it from the bath.

Zinneas on left, sometimes they worked, sometimes not. I wish the Marigolds worked better as the leaves are so delicate and pretty.
The rose leaves I realize are featured above always print beautifully, this one has a dark spot on the bottom and the very top leaf is faint - again I attribute it to too tight a bond. The 2 prints below - Eucalyptus and Oakleaf Hydrangea are 2 of the best leaves for printing. The Eucalyptus on left is practically foolproof. I love the larger leaves but have been unable to find them lately. You can get fresh Eucalyptus all year at Trader Joes, but they haven't been able to get the large leaf either. The Oakleaf Hydrangea (we have a huge one in our front yard) prints great also....Lots more to come so stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Eco Printing Pt. 1

I've been trying to get as much Eco printing in before the trees are bare. I have to admit, I did all this printing right before I left for New York but couldn't get to posting it.
I did take a great workshop with Vicki Bennett but also did a lot of experimenting with my Fiber Junkies group. Vicki gave us a list of plants that work well for imparting color. The beautiful Gingko does not impart color but can be used for other things in this process. Sometimes we just WANT a certain leaf to work and try it anyway - stubborness prevails! We just have to see for ourselves...So I laid out greenery and labeled them as a visual for myself and this blog. Red bud works fabulous, Marigold leaves will print but because they are so "lacy", edges tend to get blurred and Maple is the best.
In this row, Ferns - sometimes, Peony prints very well, Goatsbeard not at all and Rose leaves are excellent.
Oakleaf Hydrangea is wonderful, Zinnea leaves - sometimes and Poplar - no.
Eucalyptus is perhaps the best and if you can get the big leaves, even better. I have only been able to get the smaller leaves lately.

I started with some shingles I had that were warped and weathered (still worked fine) and made a sandwich using 130 lb. watercolor paper (Kilimanjaro at Cheap Joes) cut to the size I wanted...
placed leaves on top...

then another layer of paper, leaf etc until you have around 10 layers.

One of the many fun things about this process is with the paper being so heavy, your leaf will print on the paper it's placed on and also on the paper that goes on top. When the boiling process is done, each paper has a back and front print; the heavy paper prevents each from showing thru to the other side.

Above is the smaller Eucalyptus (right) which print great but I really love the larger leaf.
For me, the Maple is the most beautiful...shape and print itself.

As you can see - top right corner, you can mix the paper sizes. Once you're layered up, you put a top shingle on and clamp it shut. It's not necessary to have a super tight clamp as the water has to be able to penetrate to the center. I will show you what happens in next post when they are too tight.
Once your "sandwich" is ready, place it in a large pot of boiling water - around 3/4 water and 1/4 white vinegar (inexpensive kind from Sams) and let it boil away for @ an hour. Make sure the package is totally submerged. This can be tricky as it tends to want to come to the surface....I've come up with a few ways like dowels cut to the size of the diameter that I wedge in just below the surface, also the tray that sits on top that comes with some of these pots can be rigged up...Next time...more results and some nice prints (and some flops too).