|Resulting eco-dyed pages, after drying and pressing.|
|Ingredients; plant materials, papers, alum as mordant,|
and a large pan, which will only be used for this.
I bought an electric frying pan with lid secondhand for $15, as it can contain the papers lying flat, and it has a thermostat which can be set to 80'C, as keeping it all simmering, is more dye productive than boiling. Boiling can destroy the dye molecules.
|Dried larkspur, blue hyacinth, daisies, gerbera, bay leaves, |
ferns, adding red onion leaves, lichens, etc.
|Fresh winter pick of ferns, climbing ivy leaves and berries, |
eucalyptus, oak, and old autumn leaves.
|2 tablespoons of alum in a throw away container, |
although alum is fairly harmless.
|Dissolve the alum in warm water.|
|Wetting the papers in the alum water.|
|All the leaves sandwiched in the wet papers.|
Some paper had already given up the ghost, mainly lined school writing paper. It just fell apart.
|I tied up the stack with a large wide ribbon.|
|eucalyptus leaf and gumnut, avocado skin, and copper tube offcuts.|
You can instead add rusty iron, but that can bring out more yellow and browns, and darken colours.
For that reason I don't use an aluminium pan, as that will only produce 1 result. this pan has a teflon coating, elliminating any reactions. Stainless steel is also neutral. An enamelled pan should not have cracks or chips in the enamel, this exposes the iron underneath. Unless you want that.
|Submerging the paper sandwich with a heat proof weight.|
And left it to simmer, with the kitchen windows open, for an hour.
(Please be aware that some plants can produce poisonous fumes, such as oleander. Don't use it. Please check.)
Some of the colours are subtle, and there are lovely organic plant imprints. A number of cheap printing papers were ripped, or got holes in it. The thick vintage kids book pages worked very well, so did photo album pages with the in between tissue papers. Old music sheets and thicker printing papers did well too. After they all dried, I pressed the pages with an iron for a smoother finish.
|Drain and cool.|
I let the bundle drain and cool down. I contemplated letting the papers dry overnight, flat with the plant material on it. But plants were already falling off, and I was going away for a few days. Things would have gone moldy instead.
So I unpacked everything, and was pleasantly surprised.
|All the papers drying in the kitchen.|
|Crinkles and folds.|
|Beautiful green leaf imprints.|