In June I took an eco printing class with fiber artist Mary Delano at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine and I immediately fell in love with the process. The class focused on printing on fabric but because I’m all about paper and books, I started experimenting with eco-printing on paper.
Eco-printing is a form of natural dyeing and the technique of printing botanicals was developed by Australian artist India Flint. Plant material is layered onto a pre-treated substrate (fabric or paper) then steamed or immersed in hot water to produce a contact print.
Not all leaves will produce a print and I’m really enjoying the process of learning which of the leaves that I find in my backyard and nearby woods will give up its pigment to create a print. There are so many variables: pre-and post-treatment of the paper, freshness of the leaves, variety of paper, ph of the water plus various time factors. It feels like something you could spend your whole life experimenting with and still be surprised.
Watch this space for all the details of my eco printing experiments on paper. In the meantime, you can check out this tutorial on Wendy Fye’s website.