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).

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