Welcome to a new year full of creativity and potential.
I kicked off my year by taking advantage of the recent cloudy days and started printing with leaves from my garden.
It’s a wonderful mapping exercise to find, collect and print with what is my place, here in the world. Eco dye printing or botanical printing is a technique where plants, leaves and flowers leave their shapes, colour, and marks on paper or fabric during a heat process.
It’s a perfect time to collect leaves that have been exposed to our strong summer sunlight. There is always a bit of trial and error when you first start printing with your botanicals and the colour depends upon what type of season it is or has been.
I usually collect all the leaves I think have potential and test them on paper, silk and cotton. Then I can decide what shapes and colours go best with each other.
My favourite leaves to add are always the Eucalyptus cinerea, commonly known as the argyle apple or silver dollar tree. Then all the other eucs that are around me. These are the percussion group in my design.
Then I add the different shapes of leaves like strawberry or geranium leaves or onion skins. These are the string section of my design. The large blue gum leaf or the fern shapes are the brass section and finally the woodwind section of light and airy lines from the casuarina, flowers or grasses.
Usually I steam for 2 hours and of course I can’t even wait until the bundles are cool to see the transformation from leaf to print on material or paper. It’s a gift each time!
Why don’t you try this type of printing too and map your place in the world?