Piney Woods Prints
Mazzaus at Local and Bespoke has gotten me interested in leaf prints. I figured that as long as I am throwing plants in glass jars daily to sample for dye properties, I might as well try some prints on fabric too. I didn’t expect too much from my first attempt, but I am amazed at how clear the prints are!
This is an old piece of raw silk I bought at a local antique store. It already had a few small holes in it, so I felt free to use it for practice. I had already done some fish prints on it, some with Speedball printer’s ink that was still good after 35 years, and some with some cheap black and bronze textile paint.
The plants I used were Southern Shield fern and Muscadine grape. I have been busy this year and I totally missed the Mustang grape crop, so no fresh jelly this year, but I tried its leaves as well.
Dean’s Burgess’s instructions from Wild Harvest Harvesting Color* I placed the plants on the fabric, folded the fabric in half, rolled it up, and gave it a few wraps with thread. Then I put it into my jar of “iron liquor”, which is made from rusty nails covered with water and vinegar.
I was supposed to leave it for at least 2 days, but after about 6 hours I got a little nervous that the iron would damage the silk, and pulled it out. I peeked at the edge and saw that the cloth was dry on the inside of the roll, so I threw it in a bucket of distilled water and let it sit there for 24 hours.
After all this ignoring of instructions, I was sure that if there was any leaf print at all, it would be blurry. So I was surprised and happy to see the lovely prints that had developed!
I also liked the way that the printer’s ink blotted onto the opposite side of the fabric, giving a second set of fish prints. The textile paint didn’t do that, which is nice to know for planning future projects.
This is definitely just a practice piece, but I am so happy with the results! I see a lot more experiments ahead!
* Sorry, I was so excited about the prints that I accidentally combined the authors and titles of the two books I have used most this summer! That is not something Spell-check can catch for you. Oh well, at least I learned how to do a strike-through with keyboard shortcuts, since the option seems to have left the editing toolbar.
The shroud of Texas?
Maybe after some more work – it definitely needs some pine needles and tallow tree leaves.
I really like the “ghost prints” . But the effect of the entire piece is awesome. Gosh girl, you are just so creative.
I am good at finding other creative people and copying them! I can’t wait to do more with this idea.
Fabulous effects, what will you do with it now? A bag, a top?
I think I am just going to leave this as a practice piece, and maybe try more methods on it. I am planning to do leaf prints on T-shirts and tunics though. I will look so artsy! 🙂
This is really beautiful work. My hands just “itch” looking at what you have done, (that’s a good thing!) it makes me want to try it too. I look forward to seeing your next projects.
I love this technique because it enables me to capture nature’s perfection with very little effort! There are no corners to match, nothing I can really mess up. I think next I will try it on commercially dyed fabric to see if I can get an overdye effect. I hope you try it too.