Print, fold and stitch come and make some books with Cassandra and Betty… !

2 Venues – 3 Workshops – 3 Creative Techniques – 3 Hand made books – perfect for Christmas present…. Are you ready for a bit of creativity ?

9 September – Glasgow – Woodlands workspace – Eco Printing – Info and booking here

7th October – Glasgow – Woodlands workspace – Shabby Chick wood cover – Info and booking here

18 November – Glasgow – Botanic Gardens – Indigo/Shibori Info and booking here

The summer is almost over in Scotland, the children have gone back to school and I just cant believe that September is just around the corner. Many are back from holidays and my regular creative autumn classes have started again. As if creativity is a great way to compensate for having to follow the routine again. Happy memories of some time off in the sun and some travelling local and far away, some time spent resting and exploring are being told by my pupils while sanding furniture, or preparing their Eco printing bundles.

I met my friend Cassandra the bookbinder a while ago to plan our collaborative workshops… We both are passionate about making things… and recycling… together we will print, fold and stitch 3 books this autumn. Would you like to join us ?

Those would be great as presents for friends or simply just a treat for you…

Together we will be Eco Printing, Indigo Shibori dyeing and Upcycling wood and… transforming the result in lovely unique books … You could join one or all workshops if you want to benefit from our wee discount of 15%.

We are back in the glorious Botanic gardens in Glasgow for some Indigo Shibori, but we will also run some gigs in the new “Woodlands Workspace” in the West end… A lovely artist studio within a community garden where we will be Eco Printing…

And because we want to give a treat to the participants, if you book for the three workshops we will give you 15 % of the booking price. So dont delay make sure you reserve your spaces on our workshops… you know we only work with small groups ! So we can give you loads of personal attention. To book for the three events and get a 15% discount look here


See you soon …

Betty xx

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

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

Going South ! Eco Printing with Creative Strathaven

Its good to have a base but I say its good to take the road too… I have been asked recently to run a day Eco Printing with Creative Strathaven

And I said Yes !

This is a lovely Group South of Glasgow of mega creative people who spend evening and week ends dabbing in various crafts. A lovely area in Scotland I am sure completely full of leaves we will make a point of getting the greatest marks out of.

eco printing image

As well as recycling old books we will print on cloth some great Autumn leaves…

If you would like to find out about Creative Strathaven please follow the link above…. but if you would like info or to book on that workshop look Here  It will be fab and I can’t wait.

Love Betty x


Mackintosh stencilling … Pupils act ! A West end Festival workshop ! Let the young lead the way !

Give an adult a brush and they will learn to stencil ! Give a child a brush and He will create art !

Children have no creative fear and have not experienced the immense desire to create a master piece while having an immense fear of failing . And for the reason I love working with them and leading them in the way of creativity !

In 2017 during the Mackintosh month I was blessed with being able to run four creative sessions with P7 pupils from Hillhead Primary my local West end of Glasgow school ! A great bunch of kids of very mixed backgrounds ! Our time table had slipped a bit and we ended up having to improvise part of the activities to fill up extra time ! After making the banner of our exhibition we embarked on the adventure of making … their banner to keep in the school ! And there they were ! Unleashed with a new technique in their hands putting some art work on cloth that would be stitched together by David our resident tailor ! A magical huge banner which is now adorning the school lobby ! And indeed not a piece of work commissioned to an artist but make by the creative children of the school …

What a realisation for the children to see their work both in a gallery (The Lighthouse) and Theo own school …

From pupil to artist it only took a short step ! But we could not stop there … from artist to teacher was just another small jump ! We had to do this…

Outreach is a great concept ! You have some knowledge and you pass it on ! To as many people as you can … that is what we do! That is what they will do! The children of Hillhead ! I want them to “have a go” at teaching the technique they have learned from me to their parents … Friends, and off course the public ! What a great feeling to see them embarking on this adventure of sharing ! 12 children with a brush in their hand showing everyone how to stencil ! I thought The West wnd Festival was the right timing to this and that is why your can find us on the Plaza of Hillhead Primary on the 23rd morning with a stencilling brush in our hand waiting for you ! We want to teach you all about Mackintosh roses ! Will you come ? For detail look Here Best wishes Elisabeth

123 – Indigo Dye – Fold and Print was a great week end ! Now I am feeling BLUE !

My next week end Indigo Shibori is in Glasgow in September … I would love if you wanted to join… Detail and booking

When I was a child at some point I ended up with this Tie Dye tee shirt… I remember taking some elastic bands and tying them on a tee shirt around some marbles and after my mother had taken the tee shirt out of the washing machine the pattern appeared by some kind of magic… it was the 70’s and Dylon dyes was mostly responsible for the explosion of colour around me… The Tie Dye explosion below a typical tee shirt of my youth 🙂 (source Wikipedia)

But 10 years ago I started travelling to Asia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodgia and I got bitten by the Indigo bug… Dark Blue large vats full of dirty water producing the magical colours for the ethnic clothes around me… total bliss… and off course being a stenciller by trade I had to go investigate the Japanese tradition of the Tsutsugaki where you stencil a paste through a stencil as a resist… before dyeing your cloth in Indigo producing the most magical patterns. So this is where my love for Indigo Shibori starts really…

Wherever I go I always seem to find blue stuff ! usually unusual and dark blue … I like reading it and decrypting its making process … folded, clamped, brushed on, dipped… with time I have learned to be able to work out how to print and dye those patterns… and I wanted to share this !

Quite a few time I have witnessed “Shibori” a la European ! A group of middle aged ladies bunching down a piece of silk cloth around a large pipe to give it a great stripy pattern… there is more than this to Shibori! Intricate folds and clever tying ! Knowledge of the vat maintenance ! Understanding of the speed of the dye !!! And beautiful pieces come out !

So I set up my own course! A week end of dyeing blue stuff ! Last week end ! At the House for an Art Lover ! A great big space two indigo vats! Huge rinsing buckets ! Two clothes horses ! A box of tricks (pegs, ties, elastic bands … ) and many chocolate biscuits !

When you have a mixed audience you have to stay simple so everyone learns and get a result … while offering most advance pupils the opportunity to push their boundaries ! Di, one of my pupils for the day, was very focussed on remaking two items of clothing as well as working on her samples …Martha, the young girl worked on a tote bag ! But all were at the end of the day in complete awe with their results … as well as learning traditional patterns, we had some free time for play and that work was by far the best !

We used pre reduced Indigo ! I have found my organic Vat does not like travelling specially when there is no time to rebalance it’s Ph ! Pre reduced is perfect for teaching … it’s easy to manage and gives a good level of blue!

We ran a “Bring and Dye” session … this is a number of events I run in connexion with the Fashion Revolution ! Remaking your clothes gives you a chance to understand the process of producing garments and the importance to look after them instead of the fast turn around of cheap garments …

But before that … we learned some traditional folds … in the Japanese way ! And we even practised with home made stencils and rice paste … with great success …

it was a enjoyable week end ! I learn so much from participants and their question ! Every week end course sends me home with questions I need to investigate ! So I am now working on some unanswered questions to prepare my next week end… in September in my own studio this time… it will give me a chance to let folks try Organic Indigo and I can’t wait… for detail and booking …Indigo/Shibori

I hope to see you there.

Love Betty


Inspiration … The best flattery … A Glasgow Rose for #MACKINTOSH150

Designing is the arrangement or pattern of elements or features of an artistic or decorative work or other… says Collins dictionary ! Forgetting about the creative process of the artistic brain to initiate unique arrangement …

It is a wonderful process where the brain analyses elements, processes them and creates a unique concept/design… I wondered for a very long time exactly where the process starts and finishes. When did I start being inspired ? but more importantly when did some of my creations start inspiring other “creators” … the old story of the chicken and the egg.

The real question of today’s designers challenge in creativity is “Should you feel threatened or flattered” if your design “inspires” others…

To what extend should they ask permission if they modify the design… it is true that the copyright laws are very specific on what constitute intellectual property and what breaches it… But all this is beside the point… the point is they like it enough to “inspire” themselves from it and you feel threatened by the process…

My first creation when established in Scotland almost 30 years ago was a Mackintosh rose. Stylised, simple, 11 petals, 9 squares in the centre, 20 cuts in total, don’t I just remember the process? my first ever stencil, hand cut on top of a newspaper, in a brown stencilling card on the corner of my kitchen table for an order for The National Trust for Scotland, in 1991, the year Homes and Gardens the magazine decided to feature my work !

Could you ever believe how many roses and squares you could supply? Hundreds of those went to the New York MET in the late 1990’s for the Mackintosh retrospective exhibition… How flattered can you get when your “one of three” stencils features in the shop of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Arts… and the Chicago Art Institute.

Could you believe how many people could get “inspired” by it… Ever so slightly different designs started emerging, may be a couple of elements, is that enough? Did I mind?

In the 1990/2000 stencilling companies were eager to offer a complete their stencil design offer and Mackintosh was becoming popular … The Laser Cutting Services .. The Stencil Library all incorporated a “similar” rose … this one with a 4 squares center but still the initial shape … did I feel flattered or used ?

Always the same story… I do like being asked ! So few people ask nowadays, in this era of mobile phone instant photos.. many just point and click !

Big Rose

Mine … and some of the others below …

Pintarest and other social platforms do not help with their openness and free access and I find the photo of my stencil on many pages attributing it to Mackintosh himself… forgetting, ignoring that I had was responsable for the original drawing of that one.

I do like inspiring … I don’t like being taken advantage off and I like being asked and quoted … there is a trend nowadays to just use without thinking a bit as if a google search has become the open source!

In 2018 I seem to have inspired many but few have taken the steps to ask and even fewer acknowledged … am I getting old to feel tired by the lack of respect for one s creative process …

The big Mackintosh rush of #mackintosh150 seems to have put pressure on many to come up with a suitable rose … and why not recycle mine … I am still interested by the fact many are using to create themselves though …

The millinery département of North Kelvin College used the 9 square rose in the creation of a stunning hat part of their Mackintosh Cat walk last week in Kelvingrove…

The Mackintosh club used the 9 square rose for their 150 roses installation celebrating Mackintosh’s birthday …




I guess one has to apply the “when in Rome” … and rejoy at the fact your creativity process carries on via someone else s work for the public enjoys it … and move on !

Oh ! Have I said that I am trying to generate a living out of being creative ? So this changes the goal post … every time you take without asking … it’s a bit like if you plunged your hand in my purse and stoled a tenner … it’s not a nice idea !!!

On that one ! Should you make a living out of my creativity without asking leaving me out of it ???? I will leave you to answer yourself !


Betty x

Indigo Shibori … Fold, Stitch and Clamp the best Blue and White print !

You have to love the “Blue Dye” no? Would you like to try it? I will be running some basic Indigo Shibori workshops within the next few weeks… but if you love your Blue Indigo Shibori read below… some interesting facts for inspiration !!!

Come for a short Indigo Shibori workshop and get the chance to hand-bind your result in a unique book… with Glasgow artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw  and Edinburgh Artist Cassandra Barron

In Glasgow on the 1st June Book here

In Edinburgh on the 27th of May Book here

If you want to spend a week end exploring making an Indigo Vat and learning various folds then join my Indigo Shibori week end in August Details and booking here

Over the week end of Indigo Shibori dyeing learn the basic of Indigo dyeing… learn the secrets preparing your cloth with the perfect folds and stitches to get a great crisp pattern. Experience working with the Blue Indigo and be marvel at seeing the colour develop in front your eyes when dying with Organic Indigo.

The folding and the Blue Dye !

Shibori (しぼり / 絞り) is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric by folding, stitching and clamping, thus blocking out the dye in a structured pattern.

Most of us have at some point used a similar technique to Tye Dye a tee shirt in our teens… but the the first known example of Shibori dates from the 8th century and was realised in Japan, the gift of a Prince and in what colour but the deepest Indigo Blue ! Indigofera Tinctoria or the best organic Jananese Indigo…

Kanoko, Miurom Kumo, Numi are some of the known resist techniques used for Japanese Shibori.

In the Western world probably the most familiar one is Kanoki, a type of Tie Dye using a  strong thread or elastic bands to bind small objects into the fabric before dyeing it. Plastic tops, corks, shells etc… bundled into the cloth and thread or elastic bank used to restrict access to the cloth of the Dye when lowered into the Dye Bath.

Shibori has such a great reputation there is even a worldwide shibori network to keep in touch with all the Shibori news !

Great circular patterns of white cloth around the area where the objects was located. A lovely and fun way to create patterns. No wonder it is popular as it is so simple… a great fav with children.

Indigo, a natural way of dyeing for hundred of years has made recently a big come back and no wonder. Well applied it can give you fun patterns a deep colour of blue even if it looks just like a dirty green cloth when coming out of the dye water… the magic happens through the oxidation process.

Indigo come from a natural plant originally cultivated in India. A recent worldwide movement in Eco Dyeing has put it back to the forefront of the Eco Dyeing techniques and both Organic Indigo and Synthetic Indigo are available certainly online to anyone. But If you have the great chance to live or visit Asia, India, Vietnam, Northern Thailand, Southern China etc…  for example you will find Indigo being used still by local and tribes in their day to day business…. For how long ? That I cant say, its a very lengthy process to prepare a Dyeing Vat. Fashion change and even in The traditional Hill tribes the younger generations want a faster process for their day to day labour !

Brij Ballabh Ulwailal in India runs a very successful studio and practise where he works, researches and teaches Indigo Dyeing from naturally grown Organic Indigo plant. Its a wonderful process but lengthy, He promotes the use of natural Indigo but how sustainable is that in other countries…


Photo copyright Brij Ballabh

To see Brij’s indigo look Here

Patricia Chessman In Chiang Mai Thailand has spent her life researching, using and teaching Natural Dyes in her studio, Studio Naenna, she wrote a wonderful account of women’s weaver’s work in Northern Thailand and her work is so skilled. She runs regular Indigo and natural dyes workshop in Chiang Mai with her daughter and I believe now grand daughter.

It takes to have passionate practitioners such as Brij and Patricia to be able to talk and inspire about  those techniques … but the fact is the bulk of the Indigo dyeing work is done by many many individuals workers mainly women of the cloth all over the world… the unsung heroes in small villages in India, Thailand, China, Africa etc… who slowly cultivate the fiber, make the cloth and dye it …lana

This lady is from the North of Thailand Lana Ethnic community and still at over 80 years old applies wax to fabric to produce the nicest Indigo blue dyed and pattern resist there is… keen to show her skills at the Chiang Mai Design Fair last December.

Clink the link below to see her work !

Pattern tracing in Chiang Mai  

Is Indigo a viable dyeing technique for industry? I noticed recently a number of young South East Asian textile designers drawing onto their roots when creating their style… LONG GOY in Chiang Mai last December was showing some most innovative use of the traditional Lana Indigo patterns on his textile collection. (photos credit LONG GOY)

Vietnamese born young textile designer Vu Thao decided to make the link between tradition and fashion when she set out to create her brand Kilomet 109 by glorifying the skill of Vietnamese villagers in producing the most beautiful Indigo dyed cloth to make the most stunning garments. She works in an Ethical way, is instrumental in keeping traditional skills going while producing most contemporary fashion. She is a great example to be followed. Her work is recognised in the work fashion centres … Ethnic Indigo in the New York catwalks that is an achievement no ? Kilomet 109 made the cover of ELLE this season… from Dye bath to catwalk what a great achievement ! (photos credit Kilomet 109)

But not everyone wants or can travel to the other side of the world to try a technique. Those young designers and indeed the craft practitioners can inspire you enough to want to have a go here at home…

If you want to discover about those technics and play with them … and if you would like to experience the magic of the blue Indigo and the secret folding techniques… on paper and/or cloth why don’t you join one of my workshops this spring ? (details above)

I hope to see you there.


Betty x

When Betty came to my workshop to Stencil Mackintosh !

A few days ago I received this very lovely message from Betty .. a participant from my last Stencilling and Bookbinding workshop in Glasgow ! ... “Thanks to you and Cass, for such a wonderful inspiring day… To come away with my own stencilled bound book was amazing… ”  What best reward can you get than knowing that not only you have got the job well done but also that you have made someone ‘s day better …

Cassandra Barron and I will be running this workshop a second time on the 25th of May @ Mandors the Fabric store … Stencil, fold and Stitch, Stencilling and Bookbinding

2018 is the Mackintosh Year… So Cassandra Barron and I decided to run some collaborative workshops based on the work of Charles rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow. I would stencil Roses and she would bookbind… our usual routine, we would share that with a few participants and it would run in Mandors the Fabric shop. So we advertised the first workshop and… it fully booked. Some lovely ladies who like Mackintosh roses to bits and wanted to have a great day off doing a “wee bit of craft”.

Little did they know that both Cass and I work to a high standard and they would come out with a very beautiful hand bound book full of stencilled roses… Little did I know Betty would join my own workshop … and that she would love it 🙂 … some of the work we did below and what beautiful standard …

There is something satisfying in stencilling… even if you cant draw to save your life you can create beautiful patterns just by rubbing the right amount of paint through the cut out patterns of a template. Off course it helps to have an eye for colour ! Mackintosh loved the technique and used it in many of his interiors… Today we know him for his stencilled roses but I do know that he used the techniques well into the 1920’s and with very geometrical designs. Indeed I was in Northampton last year recreating some Art Deco schemes he designed for a local industrialist.

So on last week’s workshop after a warm cup of coffee and a brief introduction I demonstrated how to stencil a rose … highlighting the “less paint is more beautiful result !” highlighting the beautiful result of a dry brushed technique… and then I handed the brush to the participants for them to have a go onto paper, fabric and more paper…

And off they went stencilling away, roses, letters, small and large motifs on paper for their insert and on fabric for the coptic binding they would tackle in the afternoon. So much inspiration… So many colours 🙂

We could have stopped for lunch but there was no time… “we better crack on” said Cass… and she took over showing how to fold the 6 signatures that would form the inside of the book… and then how to use the recently stencilled fabric to cover the hard sides of the book… The whole project taking shape. And a hard curve needle in her hand demonstrating the stitch we would use for the back … Coptic it’s called … so effective !

From time to time a customer would pop their head to see if everything was ok and they could just have a quick look at the class in project.

And before you knew it… Ta Dahhh ! that was one, two, three,…. books ready. Even I made a little book so lovely pretty thing.

4 o’clock arrived before we knew it ! and everyone left book in their hand… ready to go home and show off 🙂

Then the lovely message came in… Betty’s one … and I was so touched that she was so happy with her day ! Her beautiful day spent with us …

All the Betty of this world together to do “Mackintosh workshop thing…

But I am thinking already about the next very stunning workshop… it will be on the 25th May… details are above see you there ?

Best wishes.

Betty x

Blue Print and West end Eco Collaboration ! When Oxfam and the Glasgow Botanic become my work places !

Some people travel for work … I tend to do my best work close to home and let those who want to share come closer…

I will be running an Eco printing and Bookbinding in the glorious Kibble Palace next week end with Cassandra Barron Edinburgh bookbinder. For info look Here

I live and work in the West end of Glasgow, the Green Dear Place… only a few minutes away from The Byres road and its great Oxfam Book shop, and from the very well loved Botanical gardens. From time to time I work in collaboration with the Oxfam bookshop and demonstrate my creative techniques using material you can source there for pennies… I think it is a great idea just as you can cook from first principal from the content of your fridge… that you can be creative using recyclable material found in charity shops. So last week I spent two afternoons eco printing in Oxfam using old music sheets, old maps and loose pages of an old encyclopedia. This is what I will be teaching next sunday the 25th of March during my Eco printing and Bookbinding workshop at the Botanics, I am running this with Cassandra Barron a bookbinder from Edinburgh it will be much fun ! No many get to be creative in the Kibble palace:)

I like using a thick paper as a resist paper for my Eco prints… you never know sometimes the resist or what some call the blanket can be nicer than the actual print and in any case it adds some new colours in the bundle. I also like using a discharge cloth, I should explain that is a piece of fabric previously dyed, preferably with a natural dye but not fixed… so it runs if wet again and if you use one of those cloth in a bundle of prints you get a lovely leakage of dye within your prints. This past week I have been experimenting with naturally dyed cloths with Onion skins. My local green grocer has now the message that I only want onion skin from them and they have a little bag ready for me any time i pop in… But in this occasion I had pre-dyed some synthetic blue dye cloth and I had lying about some textured wall paper, Anaglypta type and I decided to use it as a resist paper. I do like a little experiment.

So here we go,

Blue cloth, recycled paper, lining and textured paper for resist, rehydrated leaves from last autumn, string, piping, cling film, ferrous sulphate mordant etc… and a good old fashion steamer.

Amazing result, with leaves blocking the blue dye in a perfect leaf shape, the texture of the textured wall paper blocking the blue and the print in an organised manner creating a pattern on the printing paper… great colours, what a day of sharing the lovely technique to the public. A great public, some came from far and some from around the corner. Many wanted to see the result and waited for the steam to be over, some went for coffee around the corner and came back in time. An elderly gentleman wanted a print so much that I ended up giving it to him… Many found it impossible to understand the process and were marvelled by it.

The Oxfam staff amazed of what beauty came out of those old pages…

But the story is not over… those results are now in the window of the Oxfam shop for all to see for a long week… Many should walk past and I hope the prints catches their eye because Cassandra and I are running an Eco printing and Bookbinding next week on the 25th of March in the glorious Kibble Palace and I hope a few more will join in the fun.  For details and bookings look Here

I love the “Botanics” its a great garden but its also a great family place to walk around… we have spent many years walking around the pound checking out the fish or trailing up to the back to find the swing park as well as watching the plants come alive in the Spring and dying in the Autumn. I have chosen the heated room in the Kibble palace to run my workshop and I hope course goers will love it.

It will run from 11 to 4 and we will be collecting leaves then print them on paper before stitching a book out of them. I hope you can make it !

Have a great week end.

Betty xx