I spent last week in San Antonio taking a five day class titled, "The Best of Both Worlds: A New Approach to Botanical Direct Printing." Yer what?
We were learning to use leaves from local trees to print directly onto cotton, silk and paper. Here's what a print on cotton looks like:
This is a leaf from the coral vine, a plant Texan's consider a weed. But look how beautifully it prints.
A good number of my prints were duds, like this one:
Well, that's ugly, but it doesn't matter. Every print leads to a better understanding of the process, and failures are often more educational than successes.
Our teacher, Jane Dunnewold, is a rock star in the textile world. She's always three steps ahead of everyone else because she continually asks the question, "What if?" and then explores possibilities. I first learned to dye from Jane in 2004, and I've admired her and learned from her ever since.
Workshops could just as easily be called creative boot camps. The people who sign up are a passionate as I am, most of them working with textiles on a daily basis. We work. All day. For five days. It's exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
What will I do with these newly developed skills? I'm not sure yet, but I'll add them to my creative tool kit, and no doubt, will incorporate this kind of printing into pieces I make. My new skills open up all sorts of creative possibilities.