A day under The Big Tree ! Eco-printing in The Glasgow Botanics …

My next Eco Printing workshops will be:

  • In Glasgow in my West end Studio during the week end of the 11-12 August : Info here
  • In Edinburgh at The Remakery on the 25th August  Info here
  • In Strathaven with Creative Strathaven on the 30th September Info here
  • In Edinburgh at The Remakery on the 10th November Info here

Glasgow has been going through a hot weather spell and every morning blue sky and bird singings feels like the South of England.

I had chosen last Saturday for my last Eco-printing your Scottish Leaves workshop in the beautiful Kibble Palace @ The Glasgow Botanical gardens. It was to take place in the beautiful Victorian greenhouse in the middle of the West end of Glasgow…. The hot House ! So I decided change of plan and asked permission to move in the garden… under The Big Tree… I have memories of The Big Tree… spending many moments under it when my daughter was little. The perfect Hide and Seek place.


So I set up tables and chairs, bundles, piles of leaves and a big pot… 10 participants from as far as Edinburgh, many ladies, one young American girl and her father, and even a cheeky squirrel joined me on that day. And it was a magical day !

We took a stroll around the garden admiring some of the plants/trees we would be using on the day and made our way under the tree for some experimenting. We talked about, scouring, mordants, leaves, paper and cloth and off course… iron water, rust, marks before starting on our first bundle, a mix of papers and resist bundled around a tile. It all went into the huge pot for one hour before we could admire some great prints.


Our second bundle around a pipe was a mix of recycled papers together with woollen cloth and a piece of cotton pre-dyed with onion skin that would give us an excellent by print. And the result was amazing. All started with the same bundle and at the end a great variety of designs. some stronger than others, different leaves, different amount of Iron water and different results. But all around a lot of amazement for how well the process had gone. A silent, some laughter, some joy at the success of the venture.

It was such a great day, warm, joyful, creative with great company… what a lovely summer’s day spent in good company doing… Botanical Art !

We did take short breaks, some running to get a coffee, some ice cream cones arriving, but very short breaks… everyone was so focused on getting the perfect print. One participant said “It  was brilliant fun, I just loved switching off 100% and the only care in the world I had was placing a leaf perfectly over piano music sheet, perfect day”.

Soon it was time to roll up the last bundle, a cotton muslin to be made in a scarf. This time the large leaves could be used, one single piece, of a cream background. And it all went in the big pot again !

By that time everyone was so tired. So much information to receive in the one day,  a wonderful new technique… and some great prints… we sat waiting for the steam to be done and 10 minutes before the end of the workshop we unrolled the bundles and the wonderful scarves came alive. Beautiful clear prints of summer leaves on the cream background… Madison our your American girl had made a point of writing Scotland in leaf type face a great tribute to how children have no inhibition in their creativity.

And the day was over so quickly,  all left with their treasured art works, prints, scarfs so happy about their new skills…

The birds were singing in the big tree and a small cheeky squirrel had climbed onto my chair… looking for food.

I packed up and went home…. what a great day.

Betty xx

Published by bettysbeautifullife

I am a Christie's trained artist born in France but living in Glasgow. I work with Eco Techniques like Natural dyes, Eco Printing and Indigo dyeing using recycled material. I learn, teach and share my techniques, I work with communities and travel to Asia

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