Seward Art Crawl 2017

3 12 2017

My 8th year participating in my neighborhood Seeard Art Crawl in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Balmy weather this year, in the 50’s! Some years the first weekend in December has brought below zero temps and snowstorms. Good weather for “crawling”! Along with my eco printed textiles and pottery in my home, the tours of my new backyard studio were popular!  This fall I converted an ice fishing house found on Craigslist to a studio for eco printing and possibly pottery in the future. I think this topic requires it’s own blog post, but here are a few photos of the crawl and my new fish house studio.

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Inside of my new 8×16′ “art shanty”

The inside of the fish house with built-ins and fishing holes removed. Found a great narrow table/work surface from Ikea — on Craigslist, of course! (Guess there’s a reason my friends call me the Craigslist Queen.)

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Logwood dyed silk scarf printed with Catalpa and individual Sumac leaves

 

And some photos that go with the ice fishing house theme… Ice caves on the shore of Lake Superior when the lake froze solid a few years ago. Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. Brrr, that was a very cold photography expedition, but definitely worth it!C998E483-AAC7-4E8E-9DB3-9C4DBBEA2C99

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Eucalyptus Color Tests for Eco Printing

18 02 2017

I love to experiment!  It takes a certain amount of discipline and organization, but I’m always glad when I take the time. I mostly use my local leaves for eco printing, but I also love the colors and shapes of Eucalyptus leaves and seeds. Australian Eucalyptus, in the hands of India Flint, inspired the eco printing process, at least as I understand it. Since I’m a long way from Eucalyptus country here in Minnesota, I buy bunches from Trader Joe’s.

When I recently gathered up all my dried materials to move into studio space so I could spread out, I discovered quite a few dried Eucalyptus bunches I had stashed away!  (Is there a support group for Eucalyptus hoarders?)  The color from Eucalyptus leaves can vary from brown to orange to red, depending on many factors, including the type of Euca, growing conditions as well as the eco printing process. Knowing what color they will print is helpful when I want more control over design. So I decided to test my leaves for color, by taking a few leaves from each bunch. The tricky part was tracking which bunch the leaves came from… Here is my process.

  • Habotai silk fabric, Test 1 pre-mordanted in Alum at 20% WOF (weight of fiber); Test 2 no Alum
  • Bundled dry so I could track which leaves came from which branch.
  • Silk soaked in fairly weak rusty iron water about 10 minutes, as I’ve found a bit of iron brings out the richness of the colors in Euca leaves.
  • Plastic layer to TRY to keep the prints separate. (Interesting result, see below.)
  • Steamed 2 hours, over just barely simmering water. (My roaster was sluggish.)
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8 bunches of Eucalyptus (plus misc. leaves on right)

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Test 1: Eucas on silk pre-mordanted with Alum

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Test 1 Results

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Test 2: Silk no mordant (Eucas +2 poinsettia leaves on right end)

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Test 2 Results

RESULTS:

  • Leaves at 5 cm and 11 cm produced the strongest color. I think the leaves at 5 are the large Silver Dollar Euca.
  • Round leaves tended to produce more reds, although not all the round leaves did.
  • Alum pre-mordant didn’t make much of a difference. This was interesting, as I’ve heard you can’t get red from Euca leaves if you mordant with alum. Hmmm….
  • Plastic layer: All the strong reds snuck right through the plastic and repeat printed! The red prints on the far left end of both pieces are repeat prints from leaves at 5 cm. That was surprising!

So… keep some fabric scraps handy and keep experimenting!

Euca Maple scarf

Silk scarf eco printed with eucalyptus and maple leaves

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** View available scarves in the Eco Print section of my ETSY SHOP.**


 








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