Object or Thing

Cannot add more to this piece of work.  It sat there for a while, rolled up in the old bible box that my Grandmother used as a hat box (she had wonderful hats).  Then the other night I finished off the bottom right hand corner.  A little piece of family genealogy there, to me anyway…

IMG_0313

 

Lying flat on the table, it is a thing.  Nothing wrong with being ‘a thing’ – it seems things in our lives are interconnected with our brains and consciousness and make us what we are, allowing us to make new connections.  Is it more interesting as a thing or an object now that I have fastened to the wall?  Does it take on a new identity?  Or has it lost its becoming and is now static – I won’t say dead.   Its new persona invites new becomings, however.

 

 

Object

 

 

hatbox

 

Lovely design on the ‘hat box’.

Kozo Tea Iron

This latest experiment was about getting a contact print through an immersion in a cold dye, in this case tea. I used two strips of dry folded kozo paper that I had previously drawn on with sumi ink;  one piece was held together with a metal bull dog clip.  A stack of dry printmaking paper was interlaid with leaves and seeds,  then sandwiched between two sheets of perspex and clipped together with paper clips.  All three packages were immersed in the tea dye container for a few hours.  The darker dye (caused by the metal clip in the tea) remained in situ around the bundle while the liquid was motionless.  As I removed the papers I could see the reaction of the iron on the tea slowly take place over the rest of the dye and turn it completely black.

The kozo paper was squeezed in the hand when taken out of the tea dye to get the lovely ’embossing’ (the photo does not really do it justice).  I am very pleased with the abstract nature of the results, even though the plant material left little in the way of images on the printmaking paper, but there are some impressions – a trace of the leaves on some sheets.  There are also a few traces of other colours from the plant material.  Some of the seeds left a darker spot on the paper.

There is a tension here (freedom and control) between allowing enough moisture into the stack and the pressure required to achieve images of the plant material.  Perhaps the paper in the stack should have been damp which might have allowed more wicking of the dye.  Needs more investigation.

Some of the tonal variation occurred as the printmaking paper was removed from the stack.  I tried to restrict disturbing the remaining dye but some of this did happen of course!  The printmaking paper has much value as a base layer for further work.

 

Kozo-and-print-paper

Spring leaves, nature prints and patchwork

On a walk yesterday I found a windblown leaf, and later picked some leaves and flowers from the garden.  I am not sure at all what species of tree the leaf is from.  It is difficult to define, mainly because it is immature.  However, I think it may be a Platanus  (plane, sycamore) as suggested by the stem and leaf vein structure.  To memorialise this arrested development I made prints from the leaves.

Leaf1

Leaf2  

I made a few nature prints, on paper and cloth.  The first print is from the inked plate (with the leaf removed after passing the two through the press).  I dropped the inked plate on the floor which accounts for the wiggly marks and scratches.  Liked the effect!

Leaf5  

This print below, taken directly off the leaf alone, is particularly interesting, delicate.  

Leaf4  

This print is made on damp 300 gsm paper   Leaf3  

Here is a small selection of the process – when the leaf was thick it caused creases in the paper and some areas did not print so well.  

Leaf7  

I have been busy…  Here I have printed on cloth; works very well.  The impression on the right was hand done with the roller and not put through the press, unlike the other one on the left.  I am getting confident with using the etching press.  

Leaf8  

Finally, the most beautiful object of all, the actual leaves, with a trace of the ink still on them. It shows the underside of the leaves.  I used Akua black ink, and many of the prints were printed on dry digital/inkjet A4 paper.  

Leaf9  

To end, here is a textile work I have started in response to following Spirit Cloth. I have printed on to cloth a mallow leaf and an image off a piece of old wallpaper.

Leaf6

January 2015 printing – Seeds and Seed Pods

Seeds and seed pods are really quite beautiful, make good subjects for art and design.  This is a collagraph plate that I made ‘last year!’ in December from dried seed pods of the Honesty plant (Lunaria annua, aka Money Plant) and one of the plant’s leaves.  I had kept the dried specimen from 2012, so it has lasted well.  I glued the dried plant material onto a piece of mat board and coated front and back of the board in two layers of polyurethane varnish –  but it still had a little warp.  This did not make any difference when the plate was printed.  (Or so it seemed to me…)  A small piece of the leaf had already broken away in the past, but apart from an interesting phenomenon that appeared when I inked the plate (the layers of varnish came away from three of the seed pods) the plate has held up well through its various inkings and cleanings.  The photo here is what it looks like, cleaned, after an afternoon’s printing with Akua water based ink.

 

Cineraria-plate

 

This is a ghost print (i.e. second print from an inked plate) from one of the initial printings.

 

HonestyP3

 

The next two images are of a print made by inking up a piece of plastic, sending the plate and the plastic through the press, and then taking a print off the plate.  The plastic creates an interesting background with plenty of unexpected results which is one of the reasons I enjoy printing.

 

HonestyP2

 

Finally, here is a the result of selectively cleaning the inked plate, so that only the raised parts of the collagraph will print.  Still have a lot to learn!  At least I now know that placing the paper on top of the plate creates an embossed image.  The digital ink jet paper is dry and probably causes the creasing.  I really enjoy using Akua ink as it is easier to clean up and I do not like using turps!  The ‘black’ ink (actually a combination of colours, more a dark grey) creates an image that almost could be a photocopy.

 

Honesty-P1

 

I have been collecting Rocket (Eruca sativa) seeds from the veggie bed.  Really quite fascinating, and I notice that the membrane between the two halves of the seed pod is similar to that found in dried Honesty plants.  I would like to find Lunaria rediviva a perennial ‘cousin’ of Honesty which has yet another variation on this form with more elongated pods.  [Just found out that they are all members of the Mustard family (Brassicaceae)!]

 

Rocket-seed-pod narrow

Rocket-seed-pods

Finally, poppy seed pods from the garden.

Poppy-seed-pods

Cotinus Dye Journey

Dye Pre history:

29 January 2013

Solar dye created with Cotinus coggygria and a small iron nail.

Cotonus-jar

Added pink silk and white cotton bundles containing honesty seed pods, aquilegia seeds and lupin seed pods.  Cotton fabric on top held under water with a cotinus twig.

2 February 2013

Bundles removed, inspected, and the silk returned as very little dye taken up in the centre of the bundle.  To brighten the colour I added some hypericum and hydrangea sola dye to the cotinus/iron brew.  The opened cotton bundle is below:

Cotinus-solar-cotton-bundle

ecoprint--cotton-continus

This is what happened to the silk bundle.

Cotinus-on-pink-silk-1

The ‘cotinus’ dye bath was not abandoned at this point but I put it in a larger jar to accommodate a linen bundle.

28 February 2013

Linen added.

Linen-cotinus-sequoia

Sequoiadendron giganteum cones, dark red prunus leaves and sequoia bark in a scarf length of white linen (mordanted previously in alum) and bound with linen and cotton thread, was next placed in the Cotinus leaf solar dye, but this left little colour, even after the linen and dye bath were simmered for one hour.  Even though the colour of the dye was dark perhaps I had exhausted the dye content.  I think it was worth the effort, the gentle colours – blue grey, pink and palest brown.

Cotinusdye-sequoiabundle