Friday, October 11, 2013

First attempts at eco-printing

In grad school I am taking a bookbinding class.  We are using a lot of processes to print on paper. Our professor wants us to try eco-printing, so here is what I have done so far.  

I started with a lot of enthusiasm at the grocery buying these colorful veggies.  I thought that the swiss chard would leave a lovely pattern. The paper is my favorite -- Arches Text Wove.  I layered two sheets of paper with purple onion skins, purple cabbage and flower petals. Then I rolled them up and tied them with string.

Next step -- boiling the bundles in water. Some instructions said to boil for about 3 hours. Luckily I took out the first bundle after only one hour, because the ones that I left in for the full time were completely washed out. Nothing printed...very disappointing.

 These two pages are the Arches Text wove, as soon as they were cool enough to handle, and still wet.  The onion skin is on the bottom photo on the right.  The faint blue/purple areas are from the purple cabbage.

Here are the papers dried. They have a green tint because of the leaves and chard that I rolled up in them.

This was my first attempt. I am not sure if the other papers didn't "print" because they were boiled too long, or because I was using fresh (not dried) materials.  So, I will be spending my fall break trying different methods, and also working with dead leaves -- providing that the leaves actually change in time. We have no fall color yet here in Memphis.

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