I’m finally beginning to see the way as my experiments lead me to various results. There are no failures in this process. It’s all about discovery – what works and what doesn’t, what you like and what you don’t. It’s being completely involved in : “What if?!” Some of it’s about the technical aspects of what works physically and other times it’s a question of “Will this communicate what I want to express in a way that I want it to? Sometimes an artist will try to emulate the work of other artists whose work they consider to be successful and pleasing to them. It’s just one technique often employed in the developmental curve. But, in the end, one wants to create original works that express something that’s unique to themselves and expressive of their own sense of self and voice.
Today I’m showing you one of the pieces I’ve come up with, although it’s still in process. Not sure yet what the next step will be but there will be a next step. It demonstrates what I’ve learned about employing print paste and in developing a whole cloth piece, as opposed to a pieced collage. This piece should stand well on it’s own.
I took a previously printed piece of cotton and reprinted on it. I first laid down various leaves that had been soaked in ferrous sulfate: raintree pods, rose petals and cranesbill geraniums, and left those in place. Next, I printed horse chestnut leaves with an India ink paste. On the top right I placed a maple leaf that was soaked in ferrous sulfate; after that dried, I placed a rusted tin can lid over the maple leaf. In terms of composition, I anticipated it in quartered sections.
I laid plastic over the top half and proceeded likewise on the bottom half, only this time I placed the leaves on top of the plastic in an arrangement that would work when I folded the bottom half up on top of it, with another tin can lid as a resist. After folding it once more, I wrapped the whole thing in plastic and clamped it between two 8″ ceramic tiles and steamed it for 2 hours.
Although this was a critical step in reaching my goals for this round of experiments, I’ve taken it a couple steps further. However, I’ve had some problems with my camera and SD card and I put in a new card that I only realized it didn’t work for my camera until after I took a bunch more pictures…so that’s for another post to come.
But I think you may find this video as interesting as I did. Where Do You Draw the Line? This post is so spot on for me. Hope it is for you too.
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I’m hooked on experiments – trying to take it to the next step! I know what I’m after and I’m getting close…just a bit more!
This is one direction I’m travelling on. It’s printed on canvas Mordanted in AA, Oak gall tannin and printed once, then over-printed with a copper blanket. Next stage? Trying to decide how but I want to add some more elements to it without putting it through anymore steaming processes because I like it the way it is and don’t want to lose any of what’s there or change the color and depth it has now, Perhaps some text or block printed or stenciled elements…suggestions welcome!
9.2 #3 layout. web.
9.2 #3. web.
Here I experimented with some more small “blanket” pieces to add some variety to the composition. It was mordanted with alum (Potassium aluminum sulfate) and some of the pieces were soaked in cochineal, some in a weak iron solution. I complained recently that I wasn’t getting any color from the eucalyptus but viola! No problem this time! Trying to decide if I should take it to another step or leave this one alone. What would you do?
9.3 #3 layout.web.
9.3 #3B layout.web.
9.3 & 9.3B. web.
This is a two-fer! I used one scarf on the bottom and overlaid another on top of it to act as a blanket and changed it slightly by adding more leaves to the top of that one.This is where I run into trouble documenting things because I make art like I cook and then lose track of what I did in the end. I started out using Lac dye but it was too weak a solution and I think I ended up adding some madder dye that I had had just made to it. Or did I just use more Lac? I don’t remember! I’d blame it on age but my memory has never been that accurate because I get so focused on what I’m doing in the moment. So…these definitely need some pzazz! Next step? Totally open to ideas you may have! I’m beginning to play with print paste but don’t want to change what’s there in another steaming process. I haven’t been sucessful yet at printing with print paste that doesn’t wash out without it. I think I’m doing something wrong but I’ll keep at it.
Here’s a couple that I did add another layer to with Xanthan print paste (first time using it) but they did go through another steam bath.