Having watched various Youtube videos on eco printing papers, I’ve been trying a different technique. I soaked watercolour and mixed media papers in aluminium acetate and plant material in alum, though I forgot to do the plant material once and it didn’t seem to make any difference. I secured the layers of paper between two round grids with G clamps, but quite loose. I added a little vinegar to the boiling water and a good teaspoon Rit blue dye. I am really pleased with the results. Some of the pages I made into a book, some I used for cards and I still have plenty more sheets to do something with. Plant material used : leaves and shoots of walnut, continus, black elderberry, mountain ash, acer, St John’s wort shoots with flowers just opening and rose shoots with a red flower (the cover). I also used some French marigold and anthemis tinctoria flowers plus some autumn rose and continus leaves that had been in the freezer.
Having been on a day’s workshop at Hawkwood College with Babs Behan, on which we used flowers from the garden to print a silk scarf and being pleased withe results, I got rather carried away back home. I mordanted silk with alum, cotton and linen with aluminium acetate which gives much better results on plant fibres. Here are just a few of my results. I sprayed everything with vinegar before rolling up and all bundles were steamed.
This is something I have been wanting to try for a long time and then I found an online workshop by Lynda Heines which gave me all the information I could possibly need. The principle requirement is to use mainly non-pure colours, because the whole idea of ice dyeing is to make the colours split in order to produce the wonderful pattern variations this method produces.
Last month I attend the above 5 day workshop with Caroline Wendling at West Dean. Caroline is very keen on allowing chance to play its part, so we started off by picking blind a one inch square cut from a larger image. We had to choose 5 mark making tools one of which had to be a rubber. A dice was thrown to choose which tool to use, another to give us what kind of mark to make. Great fun and we all produced totally different images. Each morning we went out drawing, focussing in turn on tonal values, line, colour, texture, using the dice and also maps to superimpose on where we were to guide us along paths suggested by the map. We then went on to try different methods of printing inspired by our drawings.