new work….

I don’t know if you remember, but awhile back I posted on this blog that I was looking for a creative kick-start and going through a creative “shift”.  Well I have new work on the wall and the ideas are swirling again, which is a really good feeling, but I will admit to finding these changes of direction a bit exhausting!

I have been printing up a storm- “eco-printing” or at least a version of eco-printing- my definition of what I’m doing is using plant material to create pattern and colour of fabric. I really feel the need to find a new “name” there are so many versions and variations of printing using plant materials.   Textile artist Anni Hunt and I have a show coming up in April next year called Whisperings. The title is taken from a poem written in 1929 by Emily Carr, a staunch proponent of the forests and all the wonders found in them. 

It’s a wonderful topic to explore for me and has me really excited and bursting with ideas. We spent a day at Anni’s prepping some bundles for the pot.

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It’s all very experimental at this point! we are using materials from the garden, the forest  and a few from the florist as well.

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I’m being as patient as I can and letting the bundles sit for awhile…..but it’s like waiting to unwrap a present, you really don’t know what’s inside.

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I love the colours in this one and have a few ideas of what to do with it- maybe. It’s printed on a silk Charmeuse with a gorgeous sheen, but the shimmer of the fabric only shows a little in the lower portion of the image, sorry about that.

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I am pleased with the piece below for its subtle colour and texture (which you can’t see well in this image either). It’s a wool Challis and has the most amazing drape. I found it in a jam-packed shop in Birmingham, UK – on one of the 4 floors!! of fabric.

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I’m always on the hunt for more ideas and since the forest is one of Ned and my favourite places to be, it’s a very enjoyable hunt for both of us. We’ve been stomping around camera in hand, well my hands.  I’m quite taken with these… it is Chamerion angustifolium or “fireweed” around these parts. (I understand it’s commonly called rosebay willow-herb in the UK)  I love all phases of this plants life and have strong memories of it from my time in the Yukon, so watch this space – there’s some  ideas brewing,

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It finally rained! and boy did it rain….but really, I’m not complaining, honest I’m not.

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I’m off to Sorrento Centre in early October, we are going to be Exploring the Natural World…I couldn’t think of a better fit for me right now!

Bye for now, Catherine

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8 comments

  1. Hello Catherine.
    Those fabrics are beautiful. How did you manage to get the colours? My attempts have mostly been like your last one, greyish, but I did manage to get some pale green by adding some chestnuts to the pot. I’ll post some of them on my blog.

  2. Hi Catherine, just love what you have done, especially the Challis! Looks like trees by the lake, wish I could see it in person! Sorry I’m missing your workshop at Sorrento this year. Hopefully I will get feedback from the group going. I sure enjoy receiving your newsletters. Looked at Anni’s fascinating work also. The two of you must have lots of enjoyment experimenting.
    Cheers, Dianne

  3. Hi Catherine,
    Your experiences with eco printing and the results are fascinating. Your prints are beautiful. Will you be bringing any examples to Sorrento? Would love to see them.
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne, yes! I’ll be bringing some of the plant prints with me to Sorrento. You can have a good look at them and see the successful ones and the not so successful as well!
      See you soon, Catherine

      • Wow, that’s great, Catherine. I’m really interested in plant dyes and have tried with minimum success boiling up things like vegetable peels, overly soft fruit, tumeric (that was successful), coffee grounds and tea leaves along with small pieces of cotton or bits of silk. I read an article recently and primarily about mud dying that the fabric needs to be immersed several times in whatever the dye is in order to achieve the desired colour salutation. Fixing the dye is a whole other area that I want to explore, especially with water colours and vegetable dyes. I’ve got a really neat old rusted iron something or other that a friend picked up in a field and gave me to photograph. Haven’t done that yet but thought I might put it and some fabric into a bucket of water and see what happens. You work is so beautiful and inspirational. Seeing it makes me want to try.

  4. Great to see what you are up to, Catherine. I love this time of year because of how inspirational the colours and the atmosphere of mist and rain are.

  5. Great results and I’m looking forward to seeing them in your new work. We don’t see as much Rose Bay Willow Herb any more. When it was seed time it used to look as if it was snowing.


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