|Autumn Eco-Printed Scarf|
It never ceases to amaze me of the many ways to capture and savor the beauty around us. This summer, I discovered eco-printing. I know I am a bit behind the times, as most fiber artists I know have been doing eco-printing for years. Someone once told me that you can not be a farmer and an artist at the same time. I did not believe her, but now I see truth to what she said. I have wanted to try eco-printing for several summers now, but have never found the time to do it. I even passed up an opportunity to take a two day eco-printing workshop this past April so that I could stay home on “barn duty”. We had lambs due the very weekend of the workshop and my priority lies with the sheep during lambing season. Summer months pass too quickly with B&B guests to tend to, endless garden work, and just life in general.
|Fall Leaves and Onion Skins on Silk|
My daughter, Anna, encouraged me to dive into experimenting with eco-printing before she headed back to college. We ordered a box of silk scarves, shawls, and camisoles and began collecting plant material each time we took the puppy for a walk. I have done enough natural dyeing to have a general sense of what I needed to do. We quickly encountered, however, a steep learning curve and the need for trial and error. I have kept up with a couple artist’s blogs who write about their printing. I learned that they do not tell all of their secrets, but rather just give you enough information to entice you. At first, I found this frustrating as with each attempt, we had to make adjustments based on our previous results. Now, I see the value in finding your way so to speak on your own. It forces you to experiment and become even more creative.
Ideally, I would have taken small pieces of silk fabric and done trial samples, carefully recording my process and results. Unfortunately, a farmer does not have time for that. I do not have 8 hours a day to play in my studio, but must catch an hour here or there. We also realized that the same plant can give you entirely different results depending upon when it is collected. So even if I had made sample pieces, I could not have necessarily replicated them by the time I was able to get back to my studio.
I will share my secrets and discoveries in another blog post. So for now, you can just be inspired and enticed by my results.
|Onion Skins and Brazil Wood|