Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mushrooms and Leaves

My friend Alice recently wrote about serendipitous moments and it got me thinking about how many serendipitous moments I have, especially on my morning walks. I have many different walks to keep it fun and interesting but my favorite is in an older neighborhood filled with tall trees. I love the forest and feel like I'm on an adventure when I walk there. I never know what to expect around the bend. There are horses, wild turkeys and just last week 8 little puppies romping around the front lawn waiting for breakfast, I had to stop and watch them for a while. Their energy was contagious. I also came home with a "treasure" - 2 large white mushrooms - darn, wish I had brought a bag to carry them in. So I did the next best thing - carried one in each hand. I looked like a power-walker with barbells, but it worked and I got them home safe and sound. My husband is always outside with his coffee when I get home. He just rolls his eyes and laughs at the treasures I find. Well I got the "eye-roll", some smiles, some oohs and ahhs and then into the studio they went. They had a beautiful shape to them.
I loved the bottom on this next one.
Using an old bread knife I keep in my studio, I sliced them to a mere 1/4" thickness This was tricky as they were rubbery and hard to slice and also very fragile. But persistence paid off - 2 good slices.
I took the cap that was sliced off and placed it on top to change the shape.
I also found some leaves with good veins for printing.
I laid everything down on unprinted newsprint. I made creases in the paper to give it more texture. One leaf was face-down and the other face-up. I will be interested to see which gives better texture.
Next I laid my blank screen over the leaf.
Using a mix of dye and print paste, I squeegeed over the leaf. I did a number of swipes to see the kind of texture I was getting as the dye accumulated around the nooks and crannies. If you don't like what you see, you can just "re-squeegee" it. You can see in the picture below the half that has dye on it.
You can see the wonderful texture that's forming in and around the leaf and also from the creases in the paper.
I like when the edges of the paper begin to break down and you get some great texture from that also.
I also did both mushrooms.
This is the back of the screen with the mushroom still on it. I can take them off or leave on. I'm curious to see what happens if I leave them on - maybe a little more texture?
I also left the leaf on the back of the screen during the drying process. The last time I did a leaf , I left it on and the texture from the leaf veins was great, so we'll see what happens this time.
Now for the hard part - the waiting til the screen dries and the fabric treated with soda ash dries - sigh.
Until Next Time - Happy Creating.

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