Tag Archives: eco-print

Tutorial-Creating beautiful Collages with Ecoprinting

How to Create an Ecoprinted Collage

This is a simple, easy to do technique that comes from the heart of Nature and enables the ecoprinter to create as many as 4 silk scarves at a time in a single bundle! The results are random, unstructured and created by layering (or piling) leaves haphazardly onto the surface of your fabric. It involves one (or two) mordants, 2-4 silk scarves (Or larger pieces, folded) no plastic or any barriers and of course your dowels and a container to simmer the bundles.

So What is a Collage?

Usually we hear it in the context of mixed media Art. Most  school age children have done a visual art collage at some point with tear outs from magazines, newspapers, or in painting, etc to form a single theme in a single picture or painting. The more formal description from Wikipedia is “Collage is a technique of an art production, primarily used in the visual arts, where the artwork is made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.”


A typical Collage example from the Internet using photos, tear outs and words to convey the message

What is an Ecoprinted Collage?

Most Art collages focus on a theme. Ecoprinted collages focus on a feeling-that awareness that comes from a walk in the woods and observing Nature’s botanical bounty all around you! Your palette is whatever random leaves are available and the technique is purposefully simple to allow that feeling to encompass you fully. It eliminates that struggle with a design element or searching for the perfect leaf!


This is your palette!


This is also your palette!

           
These leaves are also your palette for this technique!

And what can you accomplish with this technique?

And this:

Several Collaged batches of Silk

You can opt to use just 2 scarves or go for 4. You can try just 1 scarf and fold it over if you are not feeling adventurous. The point is to let your inner artist take over, push any OCD tendencies aside and let Nature do her thing! To help you out,
I made a 10 minute video to share! My YouTube video shows the entire process from start to finish!

So sit back and enjoy! Then try it!  https://youtu.be/NpqX10Qeyig   
If you like them, please give me a thumbs up and subscribe-it’s an incentive for me to create more!

UPCOMING Workshops

Find my  workshops on my website! My next studio workshops are 1 day classes in Oct and Nov.
Oct 12, 2019  is 
perfect for newcomers to the art of ecoprinting!
Nov 16, 2019  is an advanced class in using color and dye blankets to your ecoprinting! “Ecoprint in Color”

Upcoming Shows
There are a number of other events-shows and workshops all through 2019.

As the official silk painter at the Village of yesteryear at the NC State Fair, you can find me with other artisans in Raleigh NC Oct 17-27, 2019
Follow my page on Facebook for the most up to date news and information!
November  starts more traveling!

Thank you!-Theresa

 

Holiday Open House at our STUDIOS!

2 Artists Studios!
Our chickens sometimes claim the studio front porch!
Silk work by Theresa

Saturday Dec 16 from 11-3! Come see the art studios of 2 long time working artists and see the variety of, dare we say, amazing art! A perfect place to pick up those last minute hand crafted gifts 🙂

Meet our ponies, Helen and Shadow, feed a peppermint to Bella, our alpaca…yep-the chickens will visit you as well as our dogs!

Enjoy some light refreshments in the large studio (our painting one) and do some shopping!

Kids are fine, leave your pets at home though please..rain or shine.

Located at 2109 Old Mill Farm RD., Franklinton, NC 27525. Email Theresa@thesilkthread.com with questions.

 

Plenty of portraits to see by Theresa
Steve’s watercolor table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand lettering on Glass
Working at the easel

 

Harvesting and Ecoprinting by Moon Cycles

(Note-see 2018 update at end)

When I was an art major in college at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, I lived in a small place on the Tar River near my family’ s farm. Driving home late one night after an evening class, I slowed at a little home to turn into our long dirt drive and noticed my neighbor in her garden.  She was silhouetted against a bright moon and was obviously at work picking pole beans. The next day I asked my parents why our neighbor was in her garden at 10:30 pm.  They said that she planted and harvested by the phases of the moon.  I was intrigued as no one’s garden compared to hers! She grew more in an half acre of land than anyone could and her corn grew to Iowa heights! We talked several times about her planting methods and I’ve never forgotten her or her garden.

Fast forward to the here and now and as we approach a total eclipse near our area on August 21,  I found my mind turning  back to my long ago neighbor harvesting from her garden. And I started thinking.

Ecoprinting on paper is something I have done since my college days. Ecoprinting on silk has been the past 5 years. But as I said in an article I wrote for the spring edition of “No Serial Number” magazine, my immersion into ecoprinting involved far more than the finished design! As incredible as the designs are, it is the “hard to explain” part of being one with Nature in her moments of giving me her bounty of design and color. I like to forage for the leaves. I like long hikes in back woods, hearing the birds, absorbing the colors. The artist in me has been involved with Nature since my teen years of solitary cross country skiing through birch forests in the Catskills and even earlier with years of horse ownership and trail rides. They are peaceful places for me.

Theresa Collecting plants

Collecting right now, as I practice it, has been more a case of going for a drive through the countryside or on a cool enough day (it IS summer here in the south!) to collect from my own farm.  But I started to wonder, just recently, what IF I harvested and processed by the phases of the moon?

I have collected enough to know that the day, the time and the maturity of the leaves and plants I collect influence my final result. The same rose bush today might give me different colors than from a week ago. I totally get that.

But what would happen if I thought about both harvesting and processing based on the ancient principles of the phases of the moon? I think it was the Mayans who had a comprehensive calendar for their crops.

 

 

What if I tried my idea for several months? Studies moon charts, kept notes on the results, collected my usual way from the same trees or plants and did a test study?  Tried to make sense of something that for our forefathers was as ingrained in them as breathing? I quote from a web page called “Planting by the Signs of the Moon”

Pliny the Elder did it, and so did Benjamin Franklin and your great grandma as well! They all planted gardens by the phases of the Moon, using a method practiced in rural communities for over two thousand years. It was so well established in the first century AD that it became part of the “natural history” that Pliny wrote about in his series of the same name. A method proven successful over that length of time deserves more than a label of folklore. It warrants a trial in our gardens too.

So I’m going to start this Monday during the total eclipse that will be seen at 92% in our area and 100% in places like South Carolina, Great Smokey Mountains, Oregon and elsewhere.  The small window of opportunity for me will be around 2:00 pm (EST)

 

I am curious to see if my free range chickens will think it’s time to roost, or if the brief twilight will have an effect on my other animals (ponies, alpaca) But what I do know is that I’ll later watch the eclipse on NASA’s station (since I don’t have proper eyewear) and concentrate on the experience while I collect my pecan, rose and maple leaves to test.

In the end, it is not as much about results. I am not a scientist. It’s about the experience.  My collecting is natural, my results sustainable and beautiful.  I  enjoy the time it takes to create each piece as much as the time I spend communing with Nature in her environment.  I have loved ones that have passed that I often talk to as I gaze up at the moon or stars (funny how it’s not during the day) and somehow I find the idea of an art form I know they would have loved, being practiced during the moon tides to be kind of appealing. So for me, it would be an additional experience added to a process I already enjoy. And what’s not to like?

Sept 3 2018 UPDATE!

I never got around to posting results from the days of the eclipse. But this year, while ecoprinting the same leaves from the same plants (pecan, maple, rose, etc.) exactly one year later, there WAS a difference! Prints in 2017 were crsiper and clearer and expecially so with the pecan leaves. As soon as I find those photos (sorry in a rush here, I will share those. Below are a few as from that period as well! But I DO have better graphics-be patient 🙂