Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Leaf Printing on Paper

 I think that this year is going to be a year of experimentation. I feel a bit restless, as if there is something that I want to do but I don't know what it is yet. I know that I am loving playing around with paints.

A few weeks ago, I followed a tutorial on Design Matters TV about printing with leaves on paper. They have some good classes that are very reasonably priced.

First, I gathered up some leaves.

I cut and folded some heavy watercolour paper that was 300gsm. If you didn't use heavy paper, it would just fall apart when it was boiling.

I had to ask my husband if he had any rusty things because I couldn't find the rusty things that I had used last year when I eco printed onto fabric. I have obviously put them in a safe place and they'll turn up one day! I have sacrificed my old electric frypan that I haven't used for a few years. 

Then I put the leaves in between the folded paper, placed some cardboard on the front and back and clamped it all together.

It's quite an easy process, you cover the bundle with water and a cup of white vinegar and let it boil with the lid on for 90 minutes.

It was a nice day and I had the windows open but my son said that he didn't like the smell. It seemed ok to me.

You have to leave it to cool for a while after the time is up and then put on some disposable gloves to open the bundle, gently remove the leaves and leave it to dry.

If you don't wear gloves, your finger nails will be an unsightly black colour.

Not all prints will turn out well and I suppose it would take a lot of experimentation to test out the best leaves to use etc.

The prints look better if you paint the background, it gives the leaves some definition. I used watercolour paint.

I wish that I had taken a photo of the page above before I painted the background.

Here is another page I painted but I cannot remember what I used to paint with. I didn't like it as much as the first one, it seems uneven. I might have tried water soluble crayons.

I found the painting a bit difficult, the paper really soaks up the paint, so it's quite time consuming.

My plan was to paint them all and make them into a book, but because it was taking so long, I just packed them away.

It was an interesting experiment, but I don't think I will do it again.

It has been an eventful week or so. Our sewing group met and that evening one of them tested positive to Covid. By some miracle, I was the only one who didn't get it. Then my daughter and two grandchildren got it and once again, I missed out. I feel as if everyone I know has it at the moment.

Bye for now,



Magpie's Mumblings said...

I enjoyed reading about this process because it's something I've never tried. I have played around with rust and fabric but never attempted anything with paper. Not sure that I ever will, but it was fun to read about and see the results of your experiments.

Linda Steele said...

Thanks Magpie Mumblings, I probably won't do it again either, but you never know, so it's good to have my instructions documented, just in case!