May Eco Prints (The Gift of The Unexpected and The Gentle Spear)

Eco Print II on Khadi Paper 23 June 2015In my blog post Dyeing with Rhubarb Leaves, I wrote that I didn’t get what I expected. “Not at all.”

Not at all meaning I was disappointed when I unrolled my bundles of paper/fabric and plant matter.

The plant material I had used in my bundles – aside from some pomegranate seeds – had made little to no impact on the papers and fabrics.

Some papers/fabrics I’d dyed first with rhubarb leaves and some I hadn’t.

Eco Print on Khadi Paper 23 June 2015I am not an experienced enough dyer to know the reasons why the plant dyes didn’t take. I won’t surmise.

What did impact, however, as you will see from the images here, were the rubber bands and the recycled sari silk yarns I used to bind the bundles. It’s likely then that it was the plant matter that failed, since the paper/fabric accepted the dyes from the sari silks yet not the leaves and flowers.  The rubber bands acted as resists.

Once I’d unrolled the bundles, I left the prints to dry. In the end, they’ve been left about a month as I’ve been busy with other projects, one called Life in General.

Eco Print on Muslin Blue Sari Silk Rubber Bands 23 June 2015So when I came back to them, they were fresh to mind and eye.

Some, like these here, had richly embossed areas where the yarns and rubber bands had bitten into the cloth.

Eco Print on Lining Fabric 23 June 2015When I ironed them, I left these areas untouched, creating a contrast between flat, smooth, fields of washed colour and vigorous reliefs.

They look embroidered – especially the last two – but I got this effect simply by ironing or not ironing areas of the cloth/paper.

In the last one, the purple-red blotches are from pomegranate seeds; I had frozen a bowlful some time ago and defrosted them using India Flint’s Ice Flower technique, from her book, Eco Colour, Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles.

Eco printing is about forces, reactions to pressures: the pressure of compression, of chemicals, of time and space. The results are always emblematic of life and living. Could it be said that the accidental, the disappointing, can better be seen as The Gift of the Unexpected, an opportunity, a fresh way of making something beautiful and useful (i.e. art)?

The first print here also suggests to me ways of expressing something of my Below the Line project. That’s also about pressure. It’s about that pressure that exists as a force beyond forces that creates a reaction from a situation of not existing. Well, some call it God.

In the first print, what’s going on above the gingery, scorched-looking line, seems to have been caused by the spears below. Invisible gentle spears, nothing more than modulations in the fabric of space.

I wonder, if I am to emulate the Great Causation, ought I to think about how to be a gentle spear?  A spear of love. Just talking to myself here.

About AnnIsikArts

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2 Responses to May Eco Prints (The Gift of The Unexpected and The Gentle Spear)

  1. Susan says:

    There is a natural beauty to all these pieces of fabric. Interesting that the rhubarb did not leave any color traces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      I used the rhubarb as a dye solution, Susan. It dyed the fabrics and papers beautifully, especially silk. I then used these pieces to lay other kinds of plant matter/flowers on and bundle up, then steam. They made little to no impression this time. Maybe my ‘spear’ was TOO gentle! I agree that what turned up isn’t the ‘failure’ I thought at first. 🙂


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