Answering a Few Questions

Answering a Few Questions

To answer some questions I received since the last post:

Q. Given the abundance of sweet potato vines we have, I want to try some fabric printing! Is the fabric dry or wet? When you encase the rolled fabric in plastic, what do you use? After the fabric is unrolled, do you use anything to set the print or just hear set the fabric? I’m going try it on a humid day & see what happens!

A. When I roll a log in plastic, I lay it down and place my fabric on top of it and roll as such:

Rolling On Plastic

Sometimes I roll them without plastic underneath and decide I want plastic, so I just cover the whole thing with plastic.

When I mordant my fabric, I usually do this overnight, then let it drip dry until it’s damp, when I then fold it neatly and wrap it in thick plastic sealing off the open edges by folding them in until I can get to them. Nancy Zeller at Long Ridge Farm explains it here:  If it’s already dry, I spritz it with water using a spray bottle.

When I wrap my logs, I use a commercial grade food wrap.

For silk, I wash it, then heat set it by ironing after it’s damp dry or if it dries out again I spritz it before ironing. If it’s cotton, I don’t open it until the next day, then treat it as above.

Q. I saw that you preserve leaves for long periods of time. Are you willing to share that process with me or point me in the right direction? I love this new adventure!

A. Yes, sometimes I just put them on dry; sometimes I dip or soak them awhile in water; sometimes I dip or soak them in Ferrous Sulfate, or Calcium Carbonnate or Vinegar, or Titanium Oxalate. I use a longish rectangular shape container that holds the solutions mixed with water according to the various directions for each solutions, a separate container dedicated to soaking leaves.

Dye & Print Studio 1.
These containers are on the table on the right, the two most forward with covers on them. If you look on the left shelving unit, you see the box of plastic that I use. And I thank the Goddess for that fan every day! Without it I wouldn’t be able to work out there in the summer, especially this one!  It also does a decent job of keeping the mosquitos and gnats off of me while I’m in there, although not so much at night.

I then take them and lay them out in two ways. If I’m going to be using them soon, I lay them first on old dishtowels or something to absorb excess and I position them to lay as flat as I can get them, covering that with parchment paper or anything really that will be of help in flattening them because over that I put something heavy for awhile. I do this because I had some really disappointing results when I laid them out wet, They bled too much to my liking. I also dry them for the months ahead when there are no fresh leaves available to us here in New England. I use layers of brown craft paper for this, piling one on top of the other. For these I always keep something heavy on top of the pile until I’m ready to use.

Hope I answered your questions!


Sweet Potatoes!

Sweet Potatoes!

I’ve discovered, much to my delight, that sweet potato leaves print! Thank you Paulette Welch Shea for offering them up to me! She even delivered them to my door…that’s a friend worth keeping for 64 years! LOL!

Stonewashed Silk de Chine; Sumac Leaf Tannin, PAS mordant.

Silk scarf laid down on top of plastic; leaves with Cochineal blanket on top of leaves.

Fresh sweet potato leaves & vines; crabapples, soaked in CC are year old and dried; Maples, no soak, just plain and dried for a year.

Rolled onto copper pipe w/ plastic barrier; String tied; steamed 350F for hour and 40 minutes. Opened immediately. The scarf is washed and ironed here but the blanket isn’t  in this pic but it didn’t lose much color in the wash.

Also, gratitude goes out to my cohorts on the Printing With Botanical online FB group for being the BEST! They share and care! I’ve learned so much from them!

Pop Art Popped Up at The Gallery!

Pop Art Popped Up at The Gallery!

Happy Friday!  It’s my blog day!  Well, I’ve been off schedule lately so thanks for staying with me! I’ll probably have more to share with you than is fitting for one post a week for awhile, so you never know when extras are coming. I’ve been a laggard, despite my extra posts, in sharing my experiences with The Gallery in Malden.

The Pop Art Exhibit, curated by our multi-talented Lisa Sears. had a fun opening artists reception August 10th but will remain showing until Sept. 9th, definitely worth a visit if you can fit it in. That’s Lisa Sears’ paintings above right – so fresh and fabulous!

Our Wonder Woman – Lisa DeCobert with her stunning and WONDERful art!


When new ways and thought disrupt the status quo, innovation is present. We are looking for representation of innovation or artistic innovation itself. Works can be 2 or 3-dimensional, media, or video, sound, or technology.

  • Due date August 30
  • Entry form
  • Drop off dates: September 8-9
  • Show duration: September 14-October 14
  • Opening reception, 7 to 9 PM, September 14, 2018

Back now to my Fall housecleaning projects! Scouring and reorganizing the computer area in my kitchen right now – whew!