September 3, 2011
Experimenting with sun printing has been interesting and fun. This time I used highly diluted paint in a blue/green color. I had paints left over from an earlier project that I mixed giving a unique color. I used a whole new batch of leaves gleaned from my trip to Topeka, Kansas. One (hot) afternoon, my friend Jan took me to a huge cottonwood tree out in the pasture of her farm. We cut off a small limb, threw it in the back of the “gator” (read 4-wheel drive version of a gold cart) and took off back to her lawn. There we drove up under her ginko tree and cut another limb. We took the limbs to the barn where we stripped off the leaves and placed them in newspaper. I find this a good way to layer and press leaves. And that’s what I did with these.
Once home, I chose to do two fabrics. The first was the blue/green paint on a yard of unbleached muslin. The leaves are from the cottonwood.
It was a nice result. But I really liked the second piece. It was a one-yard hand-dyed fabric that was green and gold. The leaves are a mix of cottonwood and ginko. I love the effect of the paint over the multi-color muslin. Both fabrics also have a sprinkling of coarse salt for effect.
Now that I have plenty of leaves, I should be able to do 3-4 yards at a time. It just requires a day of calm winds and, hopefully, warm sunshine. The technique can be done indoors, but the sun dries the fabric much quicker and allows me to see the result so much sooner! Once I’ve done a few more yards, I plan to offer them for sale.