Chilly Days

Chilly Days

External forces are upon me.  It’s been pretty chilly working out there this week.  It’s still doable but won’t be soon, so the pressure is on to finish up.  Yesterday I pumped out a lot of steamed fabric that’ll cure for a few days now before I wash and iron it and you get to view it.  These are some of the most recent finishes.

The first group are the wonderful silk that Janice Paine Dawes from Wilde Thistle Gallery tells me is dress weight dupioni.  I love it because it feels so substantial and prints so well.

This is a group of eco-rusted cottons. I’m chomping at the bit to make something with them!  But I’m also still over-printing on some of them.



I’ll leave you with a pic I snapped on a little walk I took when I found that I had arrived for a doctor’s appointment a half hour early that tells the whole story of what’s going on around me!


Nina Marie will give you a good chuckle today so click on over there!



Trees are the stars of eco-printing. Yes, there are plenty of smaller plants and flowers that we use and rely on, but the leaves of trees are the mainstay of our art.  Actually, the whole tree – we use the bark, the leaf  and the root to supply us with tannin as well as print pigment and dye.  A good part of my learning curve has been to learn more about trees: how to identify them, which ones will and will not print or dye. Which are local and which are invasive non-natives.

Today is about my favorite, most used or most available trees and their leaves. The mighty oak may be the most common native tree here in the northeast United States, or at least among the most well known. This is but one of the many varieties.oak

Or perhaps the Maple is more prolific.It is certainly one of the most beautiful in all it’s splendor in the coming month as her colors turn from green to yellow and to red. maple

Most of us love the eucalyptus in all it’s many forms.

Non-natives prolificate along the rim of our many industrial areas because the soil has been dramatically effected by upheaval that has uncovered previously dormant seeds.Below is a Black Locust Tree, which prints nicely.

Many non-natives have also been  cultivated in the parks without regard to native or non-native species. This is the Kolreuteria paniculata or Golden Rain tree. You’ll see this in a lot of my prints.

Then there’s the Buckthorn tree, which I love to print with Calcium Carbonate.

Last but not least is the Staghorn Sumac.  It’s definitely the most reliable printer which I call the redhead because of it’s spiked cluster of red fruit at the top.

By no means is this a comprehensive list of good trees to print.  But I’m having trouble uploading pictures right now from my camera – these last 3 are from Wikepedia.  I’ll do a Part 2 at another time. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy foraging for leaves as much as I do!

Off The Wall Friday – check them out!


Silk Week

Silk Week


I’ve been basking in silk here. The weather has turned here with crisp, chilly mornings that warm up to perfect afternoons!  And this silk that I’m working with just seems to be reflecting the glory of this autumn weather.

Thanks Janice Paine Dawes for sharing your great local Arkansas find with me! The silk scarf is silk habotai, but the rest is a much improved grade of silk than I’ve ever used. It has more weight to it and it drapes luxuriously.

Silk Habotai Scarf
Detail of Silk Habotai Scarf

I’m not sure of the details of the rest of the silk is – maybe Jan will tell us.  But it’s great to work with.  I have to say, though, that the pictures don’t quite show how gorgeous they really are.

Silk Piece
Silk Piece Detail
Silk Panel
Detail Silk Panel

They’re all mordanted with alum acetate, cream of tarter and calcium carbonate, then rolled om an iron blanket using Ferrous Sulphate and steamed for two hours.Leaf prep varied from fresh to iron or chalk soaked.

Linking up with Off The Wall Friday!