Yesterday I decided to do a test round making my own paper. I’d bought a small deckle to begin with thinking it would be post card sized, and it was – on the outside! The actual papers turned out to be only 12 x 7½ cm. I also think I may not like the fine silk screen used, it takes forever to drain the water. So I’m going to have to make my own deckle after all I guess and have some mosquito netting I’ll try for that. Once I get some wood.


Continue reading “Papermaker”

Mark making

I have a special to-do list for occasions where either pain, fatigue, Resistance or muddled concentration keeps me from the projects that require thinking/planning/energy, but also don’t want to “just” read or knit. Or simply to shake up a stuck imagination by doing something new and relaxed.


Continue reading “Mark making”

Plant watercolours

Heidi told me about making water colours from plant dye, so I just had to give it a go even though I don’t really have the time or energy right now for another project.


I still need to work on getting a more concentrated solution, the day I did this I had to go out, so I couldn’t let it sit on the stove to steam for hours. There’s also a matter of how long it’ll keep, my first jars were too tall for the fridge, then I managed to not have time to test the liquid for days. Then it got cold and rainy and not good for picking flowers… you get the idea.

So I’ve just been doing some washes, layering the solutions to see how dark they would go, adding iron and copper as well as soda ash and vinegar to modify. Nothing happened in fact, it may need to be heated – again, no time. And then I noted several days after, that my swatches had changed colour. So there is a possibility for modification, but a high rate of unpredictability or a steep learning curve in knowing what you’ll get eventually.


I started out with coreopsis and tagetes, meant to do a batch with weld also. But, well. The tagetes turned out very greenish yellow and the coreopsis nearly brown, so I’ll have to do perhaps birch for a warm yellow (or Dyer’s chamomile, which I only have in a dried variety by now)

Then there’s coffee and tea, tea with iron. I’m thinking mainly backgrounds for illustrations, to start off on something not white.

I tried getting direct prints from the flowers by “hammering” them into the paper, but just got brown smudges. The colour is not waterproof after drying, so wetting these papers again for eco printing would probably wash most of it away.

I’ll investigate some more, at some point, for now I hand over the torch in case somebody else has the urge or would like to share their knowledge. I used 10% alum in proportion to weight of the liquid.

planteakvarel2 planteakvarel3


Et meget kort og forhastet forsøg på at lave akvarelfarve fra planter. Det fungerer – men er lidt upålideligt mht farveændringer via kobber, syre, base, jern osv, da farverne først skiftede på papiret flere dage efter jeg havde malet det på. (og allerede smidt varianterne ud). Måske det virker bedre at opvarme hver enkelt variant eller lave dem mens det oprindelige bad er varmt.

I virkeligheden havde jeg hverken tid eller ork, skulle i byen den dag jeg kogte blomsterne, så jeg kunne ikke lade dem stå på blusset og dampe mere ind, vejret blev skidt til blomsterplukning og jeg har bare for meget at se til.. Men hvis nogen skulle få lyst og måske endda dele deres erfaringer, så er bolden hermed givet op. Der er brugt 10% alun i forhold til væskens vægt.

Jeg brugte tagetes og skønhedsøje, egentlig ville jeg også prøve vau og birk, men det er det så ikke blevet til endnu.

Calling all watercolourists

akvarel_0002 akvarel_0001

I bought this structured paper by mistake – must have either clicked the wrong box or left my head under my arm that day – and while it’s a lovely, heavy watercolour paper, it wasn’t what I was looking for to do ink/linedrawing as a base for watercolour painting.

So, having forgotten most of what I even know about watercolour, I’m a bit clueless what to do with this. Any suggestions for technique, media and otherwise from those of you who are watercolour experts (or pastel chalks?!) would be greatly appreciated. From those of you who do not watercolour, do you know anyone who you could send to my page, any gallery links, tutorials, anything?

In another word: HELP! 😉 (please)

And now of course to try and find online the type of smooth, hard paper I was looking for. Hot pressed, yes?

I’d also like to know which watercolours brands and types you prefer working with. My old W&N look a bit tired and almost used up. I don’t want the really, really cheap hobby store type, you get exactly what you pay for is my experience.

Sometimes I just feel like working smaller, as well as wanting to improve my drawing.


Akvarelhjælp søges

Jeg har fået købt noget meget tykt, struktureret papir som slet ikke var det jeg ledte efter til blæktegning og akvarel farvelægning mm.

Og da det er mange, mange år siden jeg sidst har leget med vandfarve, så aner jeg faktisk ikke helt hvad jeg skal bruge det til! Forslag ønskes. Hvis ikke du selv har erfaring med akvarel kender du måske nogen du lige kunne sende herover, sprede budskabet? Gode links til gallerier, tutorials?

Og hvad er dit yndlingsmærke i akvarel, skal det være faste blokke eller på tube?

Paper prints

Dry flowers apparently aren’t my thing, they look very dull and broken, some leaves might be useful. I don’t know if I went overboard squishing them real hard with clamps on the books?

I do still plan to try some garden printing, when time allows. There must be stuff out there that I can use even late in the season! Maybe I can do it on pieces of cloth that I plan to plant dye, if I use acrylics, they shouldn’t wash off no matter what I put the material through afterwards, at least that’s the deal when I get it on my clothes…. (does anyone paint and manage to look pretty throughout?) I wish I had some more fluid paints than the ones I have, guess I’ll have to invest in Golden acrylics next time.

In the meantime I saw those posts on plant dyeing on paper, which I just had to give a go although late in the season. Next summer and flowers and new dyebed (which hubby at the moment has decided to till for me as a first prep! Yay him!)

First session went quite well although I had no idea how to “steam” the paper, nor how to best keep the sandwiches tight and not floating apart. So I’ll be getting some alder leaves and some coreopsis from the freezer, and hey! How about all those dry homegrown weld and Dyer’s chamomile I collected!? Any Woad leaves left out there I wonder?

Time to get a bit scientific about it. Two pair of sheets soaked in vinegar, two in aluminium acetate. Alder leaves, more yellow birch leaves and Liquidambar styraciflua. Another sandwich, same mordants, strawberry leaves green and yellow, sage, celandine. In between the 2 sets, a layer of frozen coreopsis tinctoria and blue columbine flowers.

Then there’s the consideration of temps. Will a too high temp give dull prints? How low can you go and still get steam? I started with 150 C because 100 didn’t seem to get steamy. 120 doesn’t seem to quite work either, no visible steam anyway.

I’m showing both front and back of some sheets, since they could be used either way.

Unfortunately at some point in the drying process, I lost track of which 4 sheets were aluminium soaked instead of vinegar, AND forgot in which way they were different. I could identify them by which first sheet has the grate imprint from the oven, but after a 3 day break I also forgot which batch was on the bottom. DUH. Scatterbrain.

I’m happy enough with these results that I’m going to keep playing with paper and plants. Test which seasons give the best results and see if I can find any info on it. Some also say use “dead” leaves collected from the ground, some even use older leaves and soak them first. Hmmmm – I wonder about the above pressed flowers and stuff now?!

A short search gave me:

Cassandra Tondro on eco printing with a recipe (backwards) for paper steaming

The natural surface – great forum

Dip and stain

Threadborne list of plants to use

Next challenge: If I order a new batch of water colour paper, can I resist getting pens and inks and other lovely supplies while I’m at it?! Now that I’m getting a micro painting studio and all….