testing

 

The past week was about testing.  I ventured out in the nearest neighbourhood to collect weeds. For this I like to use an old book, pressing plants as I pick. For a small sample I only need few leaves and when I come home I just pop something heavy on top until I have time to bundle and dye. Here is one of the samples. I am afraid I have yet to find out names of some of these – the russet print at the top is from hot pink flowers and red green leaves from a tree. The orange brown leaf on the right is Eucalyptus Erythrocorys I am growing indoors in the pot.

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testing plants

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I also tested printing on paper and am loving it.

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paper print

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acer

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maple

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paper print

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Fabrics from the week before were washed and ironed, here are few photos of the ones from previous post.

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berries

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roses
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berries
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There is some amazing eco print done at the moment, seen especially on Facebook. It’s so inspiring and temps to be tried, one has to be careful not to loose head and/or forget what it is that she wanted to say. At times I find it a challenge and wonder how to stay true to ourselves in the midst of all the – often very good and positive and inspiring – on-line noise, yet not to listen to it so much that we ignore our inner voice.

I would tend to take long time off looking at what others do save for few close friends. While it helps to hush it’s not the best defence. Even from just watching other people’s work we can learn a lot, if nothing else than just see what is possible. So cutting myself off of this opportunity is a loss in a way. I would love to know your thoughts on this if you can spare a minute.

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9 thoughts on “testing

  1. I know *exactly* what you mean, and am right there with you, standing in a puddle of envy….that being said, it does push one to be more experimental, play and further one’s own style. Since i love the spareness and simplicity of one leaf type prints, i can still do that well, and then do companion pieces that are more involved. I envy those who live in areas where there is a lot of variety in plant life to work with, but some of us live in areas where bio-diversity just doesn’t co-operate!

    I tried to stay away from it as well, but hey, maybe there’s something i/we can do with what we DO have that can if not copy, then compliment with our own work.

    In the end, we do what we do, with what we have, and still develop a recognizable “style”.

  2. Wow! Great prints on paper!!
    As far as having other people’s work distract me, I am finding that I am actually having an easier time of it these days. Not to say that I don’t waste too much time on the computer looking at it….. but I find myself less tempted by their techniques (even if their creations are stunning). I see many people diverging from what I would call ‘eco friendly’ eco printing in their attempts to produce lovelier and lovelier fabrics. And I will just not go there myself.

  3. I find this a constant battle. I seem to be very easily “distracted” by the work of others.I’m trying two things this year. Firstly, a quite concerted and lengthy period “playing” about. Trying out both things I’ve seen, but mostly allowing loads of time to play and explore, and, by necessity fail The second part of this process will come later in the year when I plan to work on a new body of work. I came late in life to art, and in many ways I feel that what I’ve made these past 10-15 years has been too heavily influenced by those who introduced me to this world. So, when I start the new work, I intend to *try* to have a bit of a ban on looking at the work of others. We’ll see how it goes!

  4. I met a new textile lover yesterday and her work is amazing and I will commission her to make me a wall hanging that I could make….. but it would not be as good. It would be nice if more of society felt the same way… and that is not just the arts/ craft world either it happens in loads of Industries.

  5. I find it very interesting to see what other people do. Sometimes I try to figure out how and experiment–and at times this shows me that I don’t really want to do what others do, exactly (of course, there are shared ideas and shared processes). I have limited time, so I do what I can do and what I most want to do at the time. It does interest me to see what other people appreciate and try to achieve and to notice that my goals are different–whether I have the skills to achieve them or not. Your prints are just lovely.

  6. Personality and career-wise, I am a more deliberate person. Research, define clear methods, copious notes. I have chosen to pursue natural dyeing as I have learned to spin. Eco-printing is something I only recently have started to experiment with. I find that the lack of exact repeatability when working with natural materials is freeing! I tend to over-plan a new technique before giving it a go. A close friend dives right in and has lots of failures but she’s ‘doing it’ and has wonderful successes, too. Since I can’t hope to reproduce something I’ve made before or that I see someone else has made, tracking the details of weights, measures, times and temps are less important. Of course I keep a notebook with these things, particularly when I am starting out, but I am not as limited by it. Does that make sense? In the kitchen with baking I am precise; with my knitting, I have been doing that so long that there is no stress with it and notes in the pattern margins are all but missing now. Dyeing has enough alchemy, serendipity and experimental process to be completely alluring. I do limit looking at blogs. This one is the only one I look at for eco-printing. I am afraid I’d get sucked in to too much online time. Though those binges seem to be that – one long session when ready for a new project (knitting, spinning or eco-printing) then leave it alone for months. But yes, I find I want to see where I go with something, based on the available materials where I live, to instruct my work. Having someone like you who shares her methods and results to provide a starting point is gold.
    Note: Seeing all of these gorgeous fabrics also has me looking at printing fabric for sewing, not just the scarves or t-shirts I’ve done as a newbie. Boy, have sewing patterns changed since I regularly sewed! More online time or pattern drafting myself. No fabric shops to sit in and browse.

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