By their very nature, each one is unique, and the process is an excellent way of learning more about the natural environment, not least, because it all starts with a walk to collect the materials.I have read a few articles on making eco-prints. They all talk about bundling up the natural element (leaves and flowers) tightly in the material you want to print on to (paper and fabric) and either steaming or boiling it for at least a couple of hours. Which all seems very straightforward so we thought we’d try it out.
The general consensus seems to be that you should use a mordant to encourage the colours to stick when making eco-prints. Alum (potassium aluminium sulfate) appears to be the mordant of choice so I dutifully ordered some along with some acid-free watercolour paper which I hoped would be robust enough to cope with the steaming.
After deciding there was no way that I was going to get the A4 paper into our small round vegetable steamer I hunted around for an alternative. I bought this old fish kettle years ago at a car boot sale, and it’s sat on the top of a cupboard ever since so I am delighted that it is finally getting some use! We could fit our paper in the steamer by folding it lengthways, so that’s what we decided to do.