When Nature meets Culture, the magic of Eco Printing

My next workshops :

I will be running an Eco Printing and Book Binding workshop with Cassandra Barron at the beautiful Edinburgh Botanic Gardens (Booking) on the 2nd June.

Cassandra is a great book binder from Edinburgh, I will make paper in the morning with leaves collected in the Garden with the participants before we all book bind in the afternoon creating two unique little books. We will also be @ The beautiful Herb Garden on the 15th July for a similar day booking is Here

In my own studio I will run a workshop on Ecoprinting on Fabric, Eco print Scottish Leaves on your Scarve will allow you to understand the basic of Eco printing before printing freshly picked leaves on a scarve for you to take home. This will take place on the 8th of June.

At the House for an Art Lover in Glasgow I will run a week end workshop on the basis of Green and Blue Ecoprinting, we will experiment with both Eco Printing and Cyanyde print during the week end of the 16th and 17th June for info and booking look  Here

At the beginning ! 

Eco-Printing has some kind of Magic associated to it and most don’t understand how you can get those beautiful definition of leaves onto paper or fabric using any additional colour. So I had to discover for myself…

Every summer I take time off to go on a creative course, a few days spent learning a new technic, something different, something I have not done before, following someone else’s instructions, doing the thinking me just doing the learning, experiencing a new set of rules and new results…

I am quite fascinated about colours and printing, and that summer I decided to experience Eco Printing on a course during the Summer School of the Scottish Felters in Dunblane. Liz Gaffney Whate was the tutor and she was very inspiring … That was a while ago… Eco Printing is very enjoyable and completely addictive. I have found myself walking around picking up leaves wherever I go and running back to the steamer to print another batch of papers, a length of fabric, some pages of an old Greek manual.

This is mark making in perfection, you know what goes in it but never what will come out. You use steam and a chemical reaction generated by an Iron bath or other secret potion… If you print on fabric you need to use a mordant to make sure the result is colour fast.

I have been running experiments since then, In Arran I collected sea water and bundled up some leaves between the sheets of an old book, I collected them into sealed bin bags under a huge set of pebbles and left them for two weeks. The iron water transferred a delicate imprint of the leaves onto the old paper, grey and black…

In Glasgow I have collected leaves from my garden and that of many neighbourgh’s and the local parks and printed pages after pages of different paper and material, cotton, linen…

Beautiful imprints of leaves of warm colours appear creating wonderful and colourful collage of nature upon the old printing of the Greek grammar books I have been up-cycling. As if Nature was meeting Culture for a reunion of beauty.

The most amazing and unusual results sometimes give the best results… I recently printed some scarves of calicot and used basic A3 copy paper to line the fabric. The scarves turned beautifully harmonious but the the lining paper was even better, the delicate shades of the leaves printed on a background of thread marks. A real treat to the eyes. Mark making ready to be up-cycled.

I will be sharing Eco Printing with the participants of next workshops through the whole of 2018 as a way to use Nature to create some beautiful marks to incorporate with their work.


I hope you will be able to share one of my workshops to discover with me the magical process. Its a great voyage of discovery and I would love to keep on discovering with you.


Betty xx


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