Going to get a bit ahead of myself with this post, as i still haven't photographed my first samples.
We had some difficulty "building" the soup pot to get enough "stick to it-ness"--i'm not sure the limestone in Bowen's water didn't create problems. I always wonder about other workshops (using fabric, not paper, 'cause that's a different ball game) where they show the results as all homogenously dark, detailed and vivid. Was the bath prepared well ahead of time for use the first day for such spectacular results? Was it the fact that eucalyptus is so prevalent in these workshops?
Our focus for this workshop was plants that were local. Whether it was the limestone or the newness (fresh growth) of the plant material we gathered, the results were not always fantastic, i admit. Some were pretty, some were pretty pale, but/and everyone seemed willing to experiment, so we happily went along with that. I honestly was afraid that i would be outed as a "fraud" because the results with local plant materials are usually NOT what you see with eucalyptus!!
I had done some research ahead of time as to what might be available growing on the property itself and the surrounding environs of the island, so we had a few successes that could be developed further with some stronger pot liquer--i do believe that the more "flavours" in the pot, the more interesting the resulting ecoprint and secondary markings. We tried alum alone, iron and copper pre and post mordanting, and soda ash and vinegar pre and post modifying, even a pot of rhubarb leaf mordant with an alkaline modifier.
Local plant results:
Above red rhododendron blooms with small fragments of donated ecualyptus, cotton. Below, peony and onion skin on cotton:
Below, equisetum imparting a pinky copper with tansy giving marvellous greens and patterning (cotton on left, silk on right):
Below, onion, tea and maple on silk:
Below, birch bark on silk, one of my favourites actually because of the paleness and intricate patterning!
Look at the detail of the bark!
Below, peony on cotton, not really "local" except in the sense that it grows in a lot of gardens in a lot of locales :)
Below, marsh marigold on cotton:
The marsh marigold is one we really wanted to play with as it gave that lovley purpled patterning, but as we were practicing "salvage botany", we couldn't gather enough to really try all the permutations. I know it grows here in Alberta as well, as in many parts of Canada, so i'll be seeking it out now i'm home again!
The biggest surprise of the weekend was Margaret's play with skunk cabbage!!! I really didn't think it would work, but encouraging everyone to try various plants was the focus, so i was quite as excited as she to see this tropical looking result!
She's going to play further with this with an iron post dip. The details are amazing in this:
We were happy to get colour from the rhododendron blooms also, though i'm rather sure they are going to fade:
Below, a fern and maple post iron dip, lovely honey and amber tones:
A couple more entries to write: thoughts, my initial samples and some work done with other "donated" materials.