Friday, 30 September 2016

More Fish.

 I just couldn't wait another day before opening up one of the bundles, but I was chastened somewhat by the rather mediocre results. Again I have fish with grasses, that is leaves with marks from the binding string.
Maybe I can chop up all the various O.K bits and sew them into a whole piece.....or perhaps curb my impatience and leave the bundles longer!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

More Bundles.

Another batch of eco-dyeing, this time with the addition of a well rusted old spade handle to the dye pot. I did the boiling in 2 batches and the difference in colour is quite obvious, with the 4 bundles on the right that I added to the second boiling, being a very dark colour indeed. I'm dying (excuse the pun) to open them all up and see what marks I've got, but I must be patient for a few days yet.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Eco-Dyeing Results

 I couldn't wait for more than the 1 week before opening a couple of my eco-dyeing bundles. Above shows the string that I wrapped it all in making marks like weeds in a pond perhaps with fish swimming past on the right.
             These leaves have left quite distinct impressions, a mangrove swamp perhaps ?
    These are pieces of fresh bracken fern which although rather faint are marking quite well.
                                       A tree in the middle with bracken shrubs underneath.
   The yellow colour is from the bright yellow weed Oxalis, with more leaves and string marks. The results aren't brilliant, but do show some potential. I'm not sure that opening them up too early resulted in the pale colours, but maybe it is a case of just not long enough boiling time with the iron mordant.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Eco Dyeing.

 I have wanted to try eco dyeing for quite some time, but having been to a workshop on the subject recently I just had to have go at it. Here I've wrapped narrow gum leaves in a bundle ready to be boiled.
 Enough do you think? It took quite some hours to wrap all these bundles ready for the pot, each one with different leaves inside. Yes, I did make notes on which bundle contained which leaves!
 One last bundle, some Black Wattle (Acacia) leaves and flowers. This is just the very first layer, more will be added each time I fold the cloth over the previous layer.
Ready to put on to boil. The hardest thing will be waiting for over a week for the bundles to dry and to then be able to unwrap and see what marks, if any, I have achieved.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

New View.

Driving across the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne gives a good view of this part of the city and the Dockside area. In a car, the wall of the bridge obscures a lot of the view, however riding in a bus, the view is quite spectacular, apart from the concrete, moss and mud wall on the left that is.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

No Picnic Today.

 Just a quick trip to Hanging Rock today, where the weather was cold and the rain drizzling. It was too wet to climb to the top unfortunately, but a short walk around some of the base showed tantalizing glimpses of the wonderful rock formations above.
Site of the wonderful film 'Picnic at Hanging Rock', the whole area has been really developed since I was last here decades ago, presumably as a result of the publicity generated by the Peter Weir film.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Missed the Best!

Some how I managed to leave out this print from yesterday's post. It's probably the best actually, so how I missed including it I have no idea! It's a small sprig of Jasmine flowers with a larger tendril beside it. The tendrils of Jasmine print well, so I must go and collect a few more.

Monday, 19 September 2016


 I wasn't very thrilled with the prints that I got last session, in fact the mop up papers are better than the prints! However these two do have potential.
             This was made with a dried grass seed head collected from a sand dune at the beach.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Mop Up Papers.

 When I'm printing with vegetation on a gelatine plate I use old dressmaking  tissue paper as a mop up cloth before I take a final print.
              These are some of the best of the mop up papers that resulted from yesterday's printing session.
 I'm wondering whether to collage pieces of them into a new work or whether to add more printing directly onto the tissue paper.
As I was working with quite a limited palette of colours they would all go together as a new collaged piece. Thinking.....................thinking.................

Thursday, 15 September 2016


 I was mixing paint to make background papers for gelatine printing when I realised just how gorgeous the paint on the glass plate looked with the lovely colours & textures.
 This could have course been shown horizontal, but the paint suggested reeds or some sort of vertical vegetation.
                                          Definitely water here, looks like a calm sea to me.
                                        Perhaps another watery one, maybe a river this time.

Here are some of the background papers sitting out drying.  I want to over print on these so they really need to be quite dry. Of course the images of the wet paint above could be printed onto fabric rather than paper.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Puzzle Piece.

 How annoying is it when you buy a 1000 piece jigsaw from the charity shop and there is a piece missing! This amazing puzzle shows the world from a very unusual perspective, with the north pole right in the middle. Can you see the one missing piece on the top at the right hand side?
 I'm trying to match the colour to make the replacement piece that has been cut for me. I need to allow for the paint to dry either lighter or darker depending on how the cardboard takes the paint, and the original pieces aren't a flat green, but stippled with brown and yellow.
                                       Done and you'd hardly notice the replacement piece.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Through the Window.

 I've never seen this particular Skipper butterfly before, it's quite large for the species and here it was sitting on the outside window sill. It wasn't bothered by me pointing a camera at it and I was surprised how well the photo through the glass turned out.
                               Similarly this Preying Mantis was not bothered by the camera.
       Just look at the spurs and hooks on the front legs.  I'm happy that I'm not a small insect!
A Painted Lady butterfly enjoying the Hardenbergia flowers. This species is always one of the first butterflies of the spring season.

Friday, 9 September 2016

It Must be Spring!

 It is now officially Spring here in the Southern Hemisphere, so these Iceland Poppies in the park were a welcome sight.
 Mauve-pink Primulas flanked by pink Brassicas, the white one must have sneaked past the gardeners.
                                              What a lovely display for the start of Spring.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Gelli Plate Printing.

 I've always used dried plant material to print on a gelatin plate up until now, but today I decided to try out some fresh flowers and leaves. As usual, I had a lot of trouble with the paint drying too quickly on the plate, but I did manage to get a few prints that might be useful. Here I've used a large daisy flower, some carrot tops and a piece of French Lavender
 I was surprised to see what good prints quite thick daisies made once I had cut away some of the stem.
 More daisies, a geranium leaf and some flowers and a sprig of the yellow flowering winter jasmine.
 This was the first print that I made, where the paint dried on the plate and then peeled off onto the paper when I made the print. Although it might be described as a failed and messy print, I rather like the distressed look.
                                                   More carrot top, lavender and daisy.
More daisy and winter jasmine. I'll have fun playing around with colours and filters in Photoshop!

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Photoshop Play...Again.

 I want to make a lino cut of a nasturtium plant in flower, but to be able to print the flower in a different colour to the leaves, I need to make 2 printing plates. Here I've separated the flowers, the leaves and stems.
 I'm also playing about with sizes, too small and the carving will be tricky, too big and it won't be as useful for the end result.
                                 Here I'm just having fun trying out different flower colours.

Friday, 2 September 2016

New Cards.

 Having been a member of the Firestation Print Studio for a few years now, I thought that it was time that I joined in with the fund raising for the organisation by submitting a few of my designs for their annual card printing effort. The card above was called Japanese Dreams by a friend, as she thought that my hand carved flower stamp looked like a chrysanthemum.
I called this one 'Butterfly Blues' for obvious reasons. I used geranium leaf prints in each card and the butterfly is also a hand carved stamp. These cards and many others are beautifully printed and are for sale at the Firestation Print Studio for a very reasonable price, much cheaper than the commercially available mass produced cards.