Printing in Woodlands, the exhibition

“Printing in Woodlands” is an exhibition of Botanical printing and other eco techniques in The Auld Kirk, Kirkintilloch, Scotland of the work of Textile Artist Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw together with collaborative pieces from bookbinder Cassandra Barron and Katherine Cowtan.


It runs between the 18th February 2023 and 30th March 2023. It is an important moment of my artist practise to show my work and I wanted to share here what this moment is about…

Scroll down to watch the video I have recorded of the exhibition… if you cant visit that will give you a little viewing of my exhibition via a virtual tour.

Below are the online and in person workshop I have set up in conjonction with the exhibition… if you cant find what you are looking for… be in touch.


Workshops are a wonderful way to learn new techniques and for an artist to share their work… I love sharing my knowledge and showing to a beginner how to make their first steps in the techniques which bring me so much joy…

With the help of Cassandra Barron and Katherine Cowtan the two Scottish artists who joined me for this exhibition, I have set up three online workshop in Botanical printing, Paper weaving and Bookbinding. They will allow you to take part and create your own amazing Eco creations:



“Printing in Woodlands” is the title of an exhibition I set up in Scotland in the Spring of 2023 in the town of Kirkintilloch in “The Auld Kirk” as being invited to do so. It is to host many of my Botanical printed pieces since 2019, some of my solo creations but also some of the beautiful pieces I made when working in collaboration with other artists wether here in Scotland or South East Asia. I added to this many pieces I made using Cotinus leaves during the first two years of “The True Colour of the Cotinus” an online project I initiated during the Covid Pandemic.

When asked how I would describe the exhibition I had to think hard… It was not an exhibition of my work, or of my collaborations or the work of others but really an exhibition of “moments” specific times and places when I connected with others and together we created beautiful work using only Nature both as a source of inspiration and or ingredients. Indeed when I look at each of the pieces exhibited there I can remember vividly the time I spent in specific places interacting with others and printing with nature. This exhibition is a big memory book for me.

I am a botanical printer and a natural dyer, I was born in France but I moved to Glasgow in the 1990’s and after studying Decorative Arts and working with stencils for many years I turned my practise to “Eco Art”. I went back to learn the basics and pushed the boundaries of my knowledge to understand the processes and chemistry of Natural dyes. I do not leave things to chance and for every process I undertake I can explain in detail the chemical interaction between the ingredients. I teach individuals and groups, both in person and or online. I do not care much for the current craze about kitchen dyes and I never boil red cabbage for making blue. I love interacting with the public of all age and teaching them my techniques. I have for many years engaged in community projects… from The Big Rose to The True Colour of the Cotinus… it is about the creativity but … together. It’s about getting together, learning a technique and test it together while learning a lot. A lot of community good feel and “cross fertilisation between participants. We learn a great deal from each other.

My exhibition is a collection of pieces of textiles and paper printed during those moments. They are not finished objects because I do not make to sell. They are off processes. I learn to print Blue with Cotinus, Red with Teak, Rusty with tannins, I use paper and cellulose material but also I learn to use Silk from various locations and when I can either I learn from others or I teach others.


In 2019 I joined The Woodlands Community garden in Glasgow in an informal residency. During the summer months I spent one afternoon a week in the garden, botanical printing with the gardeners and the visitors. It was a 0 budget project and the material was recycled from donations, left overs from my own paid workshops, the vegetation came from the garden and the local area.

This time in the garden was a great learning time for me. As working with different material and vegetation every week I had to adapt to different fibre, mordant, vegetation and I learned that year to be more flexible, to adapt my technique without getting flustered… a little bit like one adapts to cook in a different kitchen when on holidays… I adapted to the wind, the rain, the gas running out, the fabric non reacting… still we made so beautiful spontaneous pieces that have been in several exhibitions since. They are inspirational to me still.

We printed outdoors, it was magical and I connected with Betty, one of the gardeners there. Betty is a very creative individual, with a great flair for composition and a real love for crafts. She helps me integrating in the garden and was involved in most large prints we made…. It was a great project only cut short by Covid but with such a great legacy.

I have chosen from my time there two pieces that were printed during the Summer:

“The Artichoke” was printed on a painter’s cotton canvas steamed in a very large catering pot in the garden on a gas stove … a friend had given me the painter’s cloth as a “new not needed” item and I decided to have a go with it. I was doing a lot of experimenting with tannin blankets to create backgrounds for my prints on fabric and we must have used on that very large piece (80 cm x 220 cms) every single blanket that I owed. Either dipped in Oak gall tannin or in black tea. The very large leaves are from an artichoke plant from the kitchen garden. I had learned from Michel Garcia, a French natural dyer that you could use the Artichoke leaves to extract dye and I thought it was worth trying for printing. We were so overjoyed to find our effort successful.

It was exhibited several times and every time I notice the colour fading a little more but the print is still strong and the colours have kept their lovely tonality. This is a strong piece that connects me to my local community and brings back memories to Betty and myself when we chat.

“The Tryptic” was also printed during that summer, it is one of my favourite and was a real surprise to unbundle. Prepared on a small table and printed in a day of high wind we used little stones to secure the leaves to keep them in place. We also used blankets but this time with Logwood dye. A Wood dye from South America which was given to me in a wood chips form as reject from the furniture industry. Logwood gives a strong purple in most cases but if you have a lot of iron in your process you can turn it into a very dark blue. This is what we did… A volunteer had brought a nice cotton baby’s blanket and we used it as a dye blanket.

The idea was to print a dark background to our print, a textured one… our fabric was much bigger than our small table and we folded over both sides to “wrap” the blanket and the leaves before rolling… The working conditions were terrible and the rain came up. We had to work fast. We decided to roll fast and did not secure the sides of the fabric. It did not make contact with the blanket and remained undyed… We steamed in the large pot and when opening…

We had an enormous surprised … a very rough print… we loved it immediately and someone called it The Tryptic… It is a masterpiece and taught everyone that blankets need to make contact to print. The blankets also took the plant print and are part of the exhibition.

We have fond memories of this piece … it was the surprise of the moment, the reward of the amazing looking piece on a cloth that was recycled from having been the backing of a old curtain.


In 2020 I visited Thailand in February to share some skills with some Natural dyers and friends textile artists who were keen to know more about Botanical Printing and it was my pleasure to helps the against some Indigo knowledge.

I visited Northern Thailand Mann Crafts in Sakhon Nakhon where We organised a skill share few days in his garden… We learned to Botanical Print as well as extract Indigo from Mann’s plants. As well as working with local vegetation we learned working with pre-mordanted material and Logwood dye which many did not know yet.

We simmered some fabric into large steamer/pots and created an amazing collaborative piece on bamboo material. We had plans to meet up again before not too long but Covid 19 kicked in and it was 2022 winter before I could make it again…

In that first trip I also visited Suddaporn Tangkawa a researcher in Ubon Ratchatani and shared skills with her and her community. We also used Logwood dye but also one of her favorite local dyes, Morinda that give a great yellow.

Two pieces from that trip are in my exhibition. Raw silk printed with local leaves using Natural dyes to simmer. I love the rough silk and how powerfully they take the print…

In 2022 I had the great chance to travel back to Thailand and after two years of absence I visited Mann’s garden who by then had build a lovely studio space in his garden. We had a great reunion and were able to set a talk about connection, community and creativity. I ran a workshop and met there some new contacts.

Up in Chiangmai in December I met Dook a young Botanical printer with a great knowledge with Teak Leaves. She intrigued me by her detail knowledge about the Teak… it reminded me about my obsession for the Cotinus. I asked her to share a day of printing with me and I was not disapointed… together we made some beautiful prints but also I was able to understand a lot more about Teak and its dye…

In my exhibition I hightlight the artists and contacts i have connected with when travelling and printing… I think Dook deserves a great space for being so generous with her knowledge.

Several of my prints are made from her Teak leaves and I am so grateful to have found her.


The True Colour of the Cotinus is an online project with over 700 participants and it started in May 2020… Covid is certainly responsible for it and it is not just about printing but also about resilience…

I set it up to generate an income in uncertain times and it was due to originally be an online workshop. Only there to help beginners to make a print with a leaf that always prints.. but the enthousiasm of the participants and the potential of the Cotinus bush make me continue and two years later we have printed, steamed, simmered, extracted pigment etc… with the Cotinus and there is still so much to do. The plant is available in many locations. The results wonderful.

In my exhibition I have many fabric and paper prints showing the wonderful results one can obtain from Red leaves in summer times.

In my description below I explain how the prints are made… there is a link to a PDF option if you would like to try yourself .


What now ! I am now back to printing in the studio with participants and I hope that this will encourage small groups to come and learn with me. I have ran over the past few months some private workshops… I will be teaching two summer retreats in France and one in Northern Thailand in November.

But I am not prepared to let go my online community as I have discovered in the 4 corners of the world some incredible people with great gifts for those Eco techniques. So I have set up some online versions of my workshops, some of which are just myself teaching but some as a collaboration with other artist. I do hope that time will prove I can juggle both..

If you have enjoyed visiting the exhibition in person or online please do leave me a comment or drop me a line by email. There is nothing best than positive feed back.

I hope I have made you curious about looking into “Printing in Woodlands” yourself… and if you need my help… You can find me here.

Best Botanical wishes.

Elisabeth x


I am a Botanical printer, a Natural dyer and a grower of colours and fibres. I work with Nature to create Art and reflect special moments. 

Trained in Decorative Arts by Christie’s Scotland and the UofG I spent many years recreating wall decorative schemes decayed by time. The desire to be more sustainable and a need for constant learning through my processes sent me in the direction of Eco techniques and for 8 years now I have never looked back. I find my supplies in the garden and the local park. 

In my West end of Glasgow sustainable studio I work only with Botanical resources and natural fibres I find on my journey. Whether it is recycled bed linen or hand woven silk from India, it has a story. I make sure my process adds to that story. I believe that all objects and creations are only with us for a short period, we don’t owe them… We keep them for a period of time and if working with them we give them a new meaning. We will pass them on to others who will love them for a period. 

I find my best work is done when interacting with others, wether in creating or teaching, the exchange creates situations where Nature becomes an essential source of 

Printing in Woodlands – 

The exhibition 

The idea about “Printing in Woodlands” came out of a community project I ran with the Glasgow based Woodlands Community garden prior to the Covid pandemic. To curate it I have looked at my practise. 

I have selected a number of unique printed pieces on fabric and paper linked with my project below 

– Selected pieces printed in the Woodlands garden with beginners, passer’s by and gardeners. All from recycled material.

– Selected pieces printed when visiting South East Asia for collaborations with local communities

The true colour of the Teak… We picked some leaves on the side of the ricefield. Golf and Dook knew which tree were best and while we were busy doing this… uncle stopped by to enquire to what we were doing… The farmer also stopped his bike to our strange sight. Their chic-hat in Thai and the noises of the paddy-field, the smell of the country side and the heat of the sun rising will stay with me every-time I think about this moment… Thailand December 2022

– Selected pieces printed by myself as part of the online “The True Colour of the Cotinus” project, mainly during the Covid pandemic. 

A large part of my practise consist into working with participants at grass roots level and it is my joy to see their first steps. Some of those pieces are those first steps.

I decided to curate my own exhibition of Botanical moments selecting pieces I made and others made with me but linked with specific moments of my Eco life. They are old friends that reminds me discovering, learning, sharing and laughter. 

They are also a great record of fibre and botanicals I find wherever I am and a sketchbook of my constant learning process. 

What Covid taught me is that no pandemic, no travel restriction or lockdown situation will make me static, there is always a way to reach out. The internet has become a new way for me to connect with isolated participants who want to join in my eco adventure. 

I have invited two Scottish artists to take part through collaboration… their creation of a familiar object with my paper. 

  • A piece of weaving using my botanical printed paper and some communal words by Katherine Cowtan, Scottish weaver from Fintry.
  • A hand stitched book using my printed paper by Cassandra Barron, Scottish bookbinder from Edinburgh.

I have created three online courses for my online community, they will allow all to take part in this amazing celebration of all Botanical printed things… They will be live on the 18th of February via the link below and will be about Printing, weaving paper and bookbinding: 

My short bio and recent Art projects:

Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw, 

The Lansdowne House, Glasgow.      


 1990 – Decorative Arts Diploma, Christie’s Scotland and UofG

2019 – “Printing in Woodlands” Community project with The Woodlands Community garden

2019 – Collaborative trip to Chiangmai, Thailand, Natural dye and Ecoprint

2020 – Skill shares in Northern Thailand in Sakhon-Nakhon, Chiangmai, Ubon

2020 – “The True Colour of the Cotinus” online Ecoprinting project launch

2021 – “Kunst Ameland” Botanical printing residency in Ameland.

2022 – “The Indigo plot” creation of the Indigo garden in Glasgow.

2022 – “The True Colour of the Cotinus” exhibition, Glasgow

2022 – Collaborative trip to Chiangmai, Sakhon Nakhon Thailand, 2023 – “Printing in Woodlands” exhibition, Kirkintilloch.