I knew when I discovered khadi paper, 10 years or so ago, that I’d find something creative to do with it.
It is such a seductive material, being textile (cotton) as well as paper.
Well, it’s taken all that time to find that creative thing, but eco printing is it.
I made this suite of images using the same combination of leaves I used in my recent eco print experiments on silk satin. And I tried out Kathy Hay’s bundling technique using tiles.
And boiling instead of steaming. The rubber bands I used to keep the khadi paper tight to the tiles weren’t large enough to wrap twice, but too large to get a really tight bundle, so the prints were less defined than I would have liked.
They grew on me and now, I like their delicacy. The effect – mood – reminds me of the illustration work of Arthur Rackham. Not sure why. Perhaps it’s because for me they have a fairy tale quality. And I do like their three-dimensionality, with forms seeming to come and go from background to foreground. They float.
The pink round the edges should have been due to boiling the bundle in onion skins. I didn’t have any onion skins, but I did happen to have some powdered madder root (as one does!) and used that instead.
The madder root dye is most apparent in the last of the prints below, which is the back of the print above it. The stripes resulted from the rubber bands, which acted as resists.
It was a fluke! The two tiles I used were not the same size. Had I used two of the smaller tiles I would have had more of that delicious pink-red fringe round the prints. Still, I do like those edges that are just edged with colour. The faded orange/peach colour is from Eucalyptus leaves.
Where there are stalks, these have been embossed into the paper, adding another texture.
I added encaustic wax to the very top print and spoilt it, so boiled out the wax. There is an almost imperceptible residue, which enhances the colours a bit. And proves that the prints are fixed not fugitive. I think I’ll do that to all the prints.
The last print with its deep fringe of madder root dye has no distinct print inside. It is begging to be re-printed. I’m a sucker for beggars.