Tag Archives: contact printing

The seeds sprout and the sun rises

Planting seeds… Every Spring as Nature awakens and comes back to life, seedlings are planted and seeds are sowed. Cause that’s how it goes. Cause that’s the way it is – standstill taking over the movement, and solution and breakthrough coming forward after the deadlock…

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Since we settled at #szaryganek a few years ago, I started another dyer’s garden right away. I planted several varieties of smoke bush, couple of catalpas, tamarisk, liquid amber, and two types of sumac in addition to what was already growing there. (Some of the new plants were presented by a friend visiting at that time. Evgenia, remember?) I also arranged madder root corner in the rear end of the garden. Needless to say, rubia tinctoria is a very important dye plant, although a young plant is not so good for dye extraction, you’ve got to wait 3 years until you harvest the first batch. This Spring I have been able to draw out a few root shoots to expand my madder plantation.

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Madder is one of the oldest dyestuffs. According to J.N. Liles, it extends back at least to 2000 b.c. In his book The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, 1990, you can find at least 10 recipes with madder root for color red. Wow, I’ve been always fascinated with madder dyeing potential, and also with its medicinal properties. At the same time, have to admit that traditional dyeing with madder has never become my thing. Maybe I am not ambitious enough…

However, enhancing the effects from leaf printing in contact dyeing with madder extract, on the contrary, has been serving me at its best from the very start. Back in those days, when an absolute newbie in botanical printing struggling to get leaf prints of decent visibility on fabric or paper, at the same time craving for eucalyptus foliage to appropriate for my studio experiments, (and eucalyptus itself had been a complete alien at the local florists) half in despair, I resolved to giving a break to squishing out wishful color from the foliage that had already proven void, and to taking an opposite approach of saturating a weak leaf with stronger potion.

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The thing is that in days of the past newborn babies were traditionally bathed in herba bidentis extract bath-water in view of its antibacterial etc. properties, clothes were also treated with the extract. I did bathe my child that way too. The extract should’ve been cooked every time fresh through a time consuming process, and no steps to be skipped whatsoever. And the results were magical… So, in my studio I gave the old method a go and treated those weak leaves to the dye stuff extract. And, yes, the leaves impregnated with stronger dye print immediately even before the heat is applied. This is a pic back from that time:

What a relief it was after so many failures! And throughout the years of my exploring botanical dyeing this method never stopped surprising.

But it’s Spring time, remember? Conditioning the stage for madder root expansion in the garden was not a big deal, in fact. However, my recent urge for setting a vegetable garden (the lockdown sequela) required way more engineering intense arrangements. First came five plastic boxes for vegetable beds – yes, yes, I know, plastic… But, hey, sometimes you just have to to make do with what you got. I didn’t like the idea of poking holes in the bottoms, I wanted to keep the boxes intact. So, I thought I would make a raised mesh bottom supported with fixed wire. Water is supposed to go underneath, and I added a tube for ventilation and also for watering:

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Next, I spreaded agrotextile to separate soil from the plastic walls, added some potting grit and soil.

It took me several hours to finish the construction stage. Planting and sowing took the next couple of days. However, after a period of nice weather we got the temperature dropping from +26C to +8C. Which now makes me really wonder if my efforts prove fruitful.

 

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P.S. Oh, did I mention that seeds were germinated in a plastic bottle? It is a very effective and low maintenance sprouting method. XOXO

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And Spring sank into the mist on the Fishing Shore…

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What color is the off-season on the sea strand?

img_5989Sometimes it happens so that one fine day you come to the seaside and suddenly fall out of time as you stand on a foggy shore while sea waters are drowsily swaying over the sand.

Fishing boats and nets are dreaming on the coast and waiting on the next time when they take the sea.

img_5988 It seems as if a sudden descent of fog, like a spell, froze over these toilers the moment they were stepping out of the sea as the shift completed.

img_5987 Hopes, expectations, dreams, plans, all having been put off to give place to the mist limbo that spilled over the coast. As you enter the territory your sense of time kind of gets lost. This mist is like another dimension in which your ordinary reality exists only as reflection in a drop of a foggy dew.

img_5981 You are no longer sure what brought you here, or what you were about to do next. All reasons now are no more than faint echoes from afar.

img_5984 Then at some point all usual senses merge, letting in an overall feeling of spiritual comfort and harmony. And you feel like entering the unknown terrain. This is the moment when inspiration takes over your mind… However, it is quite possible that this is just an effect on your mind you are getting from the negatively charged ions in the air, after all.

img_5940 This way or another, color scheme suggested by the fog inevitably appears on my next up-cycled pieces, something you can put on and wear your memories of the Spring mist on the Fishing Shore close to your heart…

Once in a while you just feel urged to break away from spatial-temporal routine to find yourself in a place where there is none, where one can ruminate with no distraction. For me stepping into the mist on the Fishing Shore will be entering one of those places. Because the mist is not here to confuse and disorient, it rather gives an opportunity to sink through the confusion and gain clarity. Follow your arrow and you’ll get there.

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Play Time. Take One

So, here we go! July workshops unwind.

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A total surprise creative session for Natural Printing newcomers.

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Having taken it slowly we ended up with expanding quantity of raving natural mono prints.

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As the number of the resulting printed pages grew, so was the general enthusiasm about learning more and immersing deeper into the Natural Dyeing process.

Next take will be introduction of Direct Contact Extraction on silk and polyamide. We are starting this coming Thursday, July 20. Come join! 

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Grateful to be around happy people!


The Imprints on Paper – The Process Review – Отпечатки на бумаге – Заметки по ходу процесса

My Dear Fellow-Dyers,

These are some  on the process which led to the results shown in The Imprints on Paper page of this blog.

Друзья – красильщики и сочувствующие,

Вот вам мои заметки по ходу процесса, результаты которого представлены в разделе этого блога Results – The Imprints on Paper.

Please, kindly consider!

Paper imprints process

Paper imprints processPaper imprints process

One sunny afternoon as a most spontaneous experimenter, I got down to the contact printing on paper out of sheer curiosity without having done neither any preparation of the materials, nor study of what the other knowledgeable people were doing about the natural printing on paper.

..I set up this experiment in between my housekeeping activities..

I just bothered to pour boiling water over some dried euca, all the rest of the leaves were freshly fallen from the tree, so to say. And I got some found objects, as metal scraps and a piece of the lace which I found somewhere in the house.

Had to cut the paper, too!

 

Был солнечный полдень, и, как всегда, спонтанно я подошла к пробной контактной печати на бумаге.

Мое любопытство и непреодолимое желание скорейших результатов не оставили мне шанса ни подготовить необходимые материалы, ни вдумчиво изучить, что и как знающие люди делают в отношении эко принта на бумаге. 

И вообще, эксперимент пришлось ставить в промежутке между хоз. мероприятиями… 

Листья, сухие эвк. и свежие из-под ближайших деревьев, я залила кипятком; собрала по дому некоторые предметы: металлические кусочки, обрезки кружева.

Ну и бумагу нарезала, тоже…

 

Paper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints process

Now, for what could have been done, and yet neglected,

  • Presoaking paper part;
  • Pressing the leaves flat for a few days prior to printing;

 

Теперь о том, что следовало бы сделать, однако это было упущено.

  • Замочить бумагу предварительно
  • Поместить все листья под пресс за несколько дней до эксперимента

 

Paper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints process

And what is more crying,

  • The paper stack was not steamed

It was boiled in water..

..a paper at the bottom got sort of burnt:

 

 

Более вопиющие факты:

  • Стопку бумаги я не пропарила,

Я ее кипятила в воде!

ну да, нижний лист подгорел…

Paper imprints processPaper imprints processPaper imprints process

The last two photos show the whole arrangement with the weight (a saucepan full of water) on top, and the revealed view of the papers in water as the weight has been removed.

This is it, the story of one lazy eco printing on paper!

 

 

На последних двух фото изображена вся аранжировка с грузом сверху (казанок с водой)

и вид после того, как груз убран.

Такие вот ленивые вареники!

Вернее, ленивая контактная эко печать на бумаге…

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