I learned how to make botanical prints when I spent a year upstate NY during the 2020/2021 pandemic. I was fascinated in discovering the chemical reactions of plants loaded with tannin. As a lifelong printmaker, it was a revelation to print without any ink. I used only the natural tannin of plants steamed with various mordanted paper and fabrics.
The “Botanical” Portfolios
All my botanical work on paper and fabric is to represent the making and natural materials of the forests. Botanical with Trees and Leaves: Botanical prints with inked leaves and collage.
All my botanical work on paper and fabric is to represent the making and natural materials of the forests. Botanical with Color Birds transfers: Botanical prints with inkjet transfers.
In this series, in order to achieve tint colors of blue, green or rust, the leaves were dipped in several concoctions of iron water with vinegar, or rusted nails in vinegar, or copper soaked for weeks in vinegar. After the dips the leaves are arranged on mordanted paper and packed in bundles before steam.
This series was processed as monochrome botanical prints, without dipping. Only the color of dark tannin shows after the steam process.
I started to arrange my botanical prints in series, adding some collage, and displaying them in my new studio. I fused music sheets with watercolor paper before printing.
I collected numerous antique fine linen articles for this project. The linen was prepared (mordanted in alum, and fixed with wheat brand) before monochrome printing or tinted printing.