Green dye from Black Turtle Bean

Following on from the previous post about black bean dye –

The next day, bicarbonate of soda was added to the Black Turtle Bean solar dye.  Colour changed to green and this colour transferred to the un-mordanted silk and cotton scraps.

This test needs to be redone; the bicarb was added to the original dye which was probably a bit tired – the beans were ‘going off’ at the time.





I also added to the solar dye pot some rolled-up paper, but the green disappeared into a brown-green when applied to paper.   Something in the paper which is photocopy paper reacting with this dye.  Where the pools of dye were deeper the green colour is just apparent.  This paper is stuck onto the test page and covered the swatches in the above image, hence the change of page direction!





A print book

Time for this has been scarce recently, so I thought I should try to get another post in before 2014.

Some of my eco prints on paper have been made into artists books.  This one is a ten-page ‘concertina’ book.  It is a little difficult to present these books; however, here is a scan of the cover and the last page…


The cover image is printed onto handmade paper by Mark Lander.  The wood-block type of print (using a plastic block and a Dremel tool) was made in 2012.  The pages each have a line from the poem by Robert Frost – Gathering Leaves – and I have written these words with ink from Harakeke, the New Zealand flax plant.  The autumn leaves all come from our garden here in Oxford, and are a collection of prunus, oak, sycamore, cotinus, acer, pin oak and ash leaves – the coloured deciduous leaves all providing good elements for transfer to the paper which was dipped in alum first.  The dark brown on the pages below is provided by a piece of harakeke seed pod.