Eco Printing on Deli Paper

I’ve done very little eco-printing in 2021, concentrating instead, on a return to painting. The programmes I’ve been taking part in have introduced me to a good many different ways of starting and progressing a painting, including various ways of incorporating collage. One idea I’d not come across before is through the use of deli paper. Deli is short for delicatessen and deli paper is used by delicatessans to wrap takeaway foods. Waxed on one side, unwaxed on the other, it’s thin and virtually transparent and when drawn or painted or printed onto, can be glued onto an artwork, adding another dimension to the work and can be made virtually or wholly undetectable as collage material.

I noted, in my experiments with deli paper (which can be bought in A3 sheets in large quantities at little cost) how strong it was and this made me wonder if it was sufficiently robust to survive the eco-printing process. I managed to produce the eco prints in the slideshow above, using some of the autumn leaves now littering my garden. I’m pleased with these first attempts. I used leaves I know will give up their colour – Sumac and Dogwood and St John’s Wort. I’ll be experimenting further with different kinds of leaves.

I like the idea of using colour in my paintings derived directly from plant matter gathered from my surroundings, and in this, making my paintings site-specific. I’ve already begun some paintings using the results of these deli paper eco prints.

Deli paper may not be acid-free and archival, but are rendered archival once glued-down and coated with acrylic medium (I used gloss, which also further enriches the colours).

If you’ve tried eco printing on deli paper, I’d love to see some of your works and any tips.

About AnnIsikArts

Artist/Writer/Chess Enthusiast/Musician (Singer)/Gardener
This entry was posted in Art, Collage & Assemblage, Eco/Natural Dyeing and Printing, Painting, Printmaking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Eco Printing on Deli Paper

  1. Shroomworks says:

    Thanks for this suggestion – I’d never heard of printing on deli paper and can’t wait to try. Now I have to see if it will pick up mushroom colours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AnnIsikArts says:

      I used ‘Carnival’ paper, which is actually an alternative to deli paper. It cost just under £13 for 60 A3 sheets, from Amazon UK. I steamed my bundles in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes. As you will know, water content is crucial to eco-printing. I’ve been very parsimonious with water yet there is still a ‘bleed’ to my results which I like, but would also like to control, so I’m also experimenting with applying less and less water to the papers. I’ve sandwiched my plant matter between two sheets of deli paper, the top sheet I’ve wetted-out in an iron solution. I get results on both sheets. Hope that helps. Let me know how you get on. I’ll be interested.


  2. I haven’t tried it on deli paper, but had great results this year making eco-prints on 100% recycled paper meant for inkjet or laser printing. It has a great chemistry for the eco-prints. As far as painting with local botanicals, I recommend the book “Make Ink” by Jason Logan. He’s Canadian, so don’t know if it will be available to you, but it inspired me to do lots of botanical ink-making experiments this year, and they are wonderful for painting.


    • AnnIsikArts says:

      I haven’t tried printer paper. I’ll have a go shortly. I normally print on silk. I’ve heard of Jason Logan’s ‘Make Ink’. He’s on my hit list. 🙂 I made some inks and paints last year, using brown and ochre pigment gathered from the crumbling cliffs of a beach about an hour away; and some inks from acorns; and I made some dye ‘paste’ and added some of the ochre paint to it. When I painted the paste onto a silk print I’d made, it painted black! It was like magic. It was ochre on the paintbrush and painted black on the silk print. Of course, I was painting with iron, which turns up black on prints. I like your post about Ait Caol – ‘thin places’. I’m trying to express ‘thin places’ as an artist. Not easy! I call it Poetic Mapping. 😉


      • I feel like I’m getting in touch with my inner Mad Scientist when I do these things. The chemistry of the paper makes a huge difference, and the most unexpected ones sometimes yield the most interesting results. I just picked up acorn caps last week to try making ink, but haven’t had time yet. blessings on your artistic adventures!

        Liked by 1 person

      • AnnIsikArts says:

        Thank you for the blessings. I certainly need those. I know what you mean about the ‘science’. I often feel like an alchemist … I love the ‘reveal’ stage of unbundling after the processing. Thank you again for ‘thin places’. I really connect with that at this moment in time and yes, I agree that Easter is a very thin place.


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