When looking back over my recent online mixed media course I was struck again at how much I had enjoyed creating temporary vignettes from plant material.
So over recent weeks I’ve been diligently collecting, pressing and drying plant material with the aim of creating a permanent record of my time in isolation. Having been cooped up in the house for a couple of months or more my main outlet has been walking my dog, Jack, on bush trails, giving me the perfect opportunity to build a plant collection.
Some weeks ago I completed the front and back inner and outer sections of the book as well as the concertina spine (not posted yet).
For the last 3 weeks I’ve been working on creating 32 pages, each showcasing a different plant. In this post I’m showing some of the waste prints, the trials I suppose you would call them.
My printing experience tells me that plant material prints much better the second or third time. The initial pass through the press flattens the foliage properly and deposits some ink, but often not enough. So it’s good to trial every one before re-inking and placing the item on good paper.
I like to look at the print plate (in this case a sheet of acetate) after the leaves have been through the press and removed, and see the remaining image on the plate. If I’ve a good imprint I put the plate through again, sometimes with different papers. It’s amazing what comes out.
From these photos it’s clear to see where the plant material has been printed on plain paper, to gauge the ink pick-up, and where the acetate plate has been printed once the foliage has been removed. I enjoy the positive/negative aspects of these.