Botanical Bounty

“Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated” – Auguste Rodin

Some dried leaves collected and gifted to me by my late mum.
Some dried leaves collected and gifted to me by my late mother

During this time of lockdown, I have had the opportunity to revisit various processes and ideas. Thanks to the wonderful weather we have been having as well as living in the countryside and being so close to a few little woodland areas. I have been able to spend some time soaking up the sunlight through the trees, the general energy, inspiration and sense of calm from nature as she blooms into her Springtime being.

One of the processes I have been exploring further is eco-printing, this is where you place fresh foliage onto paper or fabric, adding various mordants, rusty bits of metal and onion skins for example (I sometimes also add a little acid dye), then sandwich them together tight and boil/simmer for around an hour, this releases the plants goodness combined with the added ingredients onto the paper/fabric leaving wonderous imprints. The reveal at the end is always a pleasure as you never quite know what you will get!

Close up of recycled tin cans rusting nicely over time.
Close up of recycled tin cans rusting nicely over time.
Botanical Eco-Printing session preparation.
Botanical Eco-Printing session preparation.
Close up of prints being boiled in the pot
Close up of prints being boiled in the pot
Eco-Print on Paper 2020
Eco-Print on Paper 2020
Eco-Print on Recycled Wool Blanket. 2020
Eco-Print on Recycled Wool Blanket. 2020

I recently bought a book by Susan Brooks called ‘Eco-Dyed Art Journals, Using Nature’s Imprints’ and it has been extremely useful and interesting, helping me to develop my eco-printing skills much further. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in trying this process.

Some eco-prints drying
Some eco-prints drying

It is an easy process and quite difficult to make ‘bad’ prints, occasionally some leaves don’t transfer but all the prints that I have made over the past year or so have turned out ok, some I have applied cyanotype onto creating some very interesting effects, some that I have printed onto both in relief and intaglio, others can be framed in their own right or made into books (my next step) and/or used simply as notelets. The possibilities are endless, and again, working with a process that involves going into and working with nature is a HUGE plus for me.

Dragonfly, Samantha Boulanger, Etching on Eco-printed Paper 2019
Dragonfly, Samantha Boulanger, Etching on Eco-printed Paper 2019

Thanks for reading…

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