Eco printing is it a print or a stain ? Don’t delay ! Play with paper !

My next Eco Printing workshop is Glasgow is on the 9th September details are … Here we will make little books like those below …

This is a strange process and it produces a unique result … it’s not a watercolour although it looks like one ! It’s more like a print although a unique one that can not be duplicate ! You create it although don’t define the lines of the drawing.

It’s been called “contact print” and indeed it’s only by making sure that the contact is good between the Botanical material and the paper or cloth that you get a crisp print … but then do you want a crisp print ? Some of the great eco printers are more focused on the process than the result and it is the experimentation and the experience that is of interest to them … take India Flint for example … the prophet of the bloom, she initiated Eco Printing in its current format and so focused on being kind to the environment and using local ressources … her workshops are very much an experience in itself … she uses terms like alchemy not science … so are you prepared to be marvelled ? Or have you got a great chemistry knowledge so you can work it all out taking the magic out of it ?

It is all about transferring the Eco dye of a Botanical material onto cloth or paper … many do cloth with many of them silk … a few work with paper and that is my first love ! Recycled paper, art paper, ordinary paper, lining paper … all of it gives me an experience all of it gives me a different result ! But more importantly I can make all of it work ! Because I understand the process … it is all about the process is it not ???

You have to coax the delicate pigment/tannin out of its shell and imprint it on the support you want … you can use a steamer or a dye bath … and you can modify its aspect by adding some modifying agents … iron … copper … Alum … that is what I call science and others call alchemy ! If you have a good contact you will get crisps shapes and if you don’t you will get … something more experimental. But that can be the point … may be you want to have your big pot in the garden and experiment wearing a long stained apron … but whatever you do you must have a go because it is the best technique of all.

It allows you to map your summer and keep creative notes for winter times delight ! It allows you to create art work when you were not much of an artist … it allows you to be part of a growing community of artist and hobbyists who look back to nature for inspiration like the Art Nouveau movement at the turn of last century …

So take the plonge and have a go it’s ever so much fun … and decide for yourself if you are creating unique Art or just having fun !

If you want my guidance … look here for my next courses … I will run some Eco Printing classes near you soon …

best luck with your results …

Betty xx

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