After the wonderful course with Rob Jones at West Dean College, I made up my own indigo vat. I wanted to dye some papers and I also wanted to eco print in a turmeric bath, over dyeing with indigo. The end result was this book, using papers, fabrics and various other bits and pieces. Most of the circles were obtained by clamping before dyeing and I also used a hole punch as I constructed the book. The tiny bits of fabric on page 4 are the end blocks at either end of a row of mokume stitching. The images on the final two pages are cyanotypes, a process with which I am just beginning to experiment. Finally, I used encaustic wax over the covers.
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.