Monday, May 23, 2011

A brew worth bottling!

Yesterday I introduced members of the Queensland Papermakers to the exquisite exploration of eco-dyeing on paper.  Although time was short, enthusiasm spurred them on to create some wonderful examples of dyeing on paper with onion skins, leaves, berries, and metal (amongst other things!).  I'm sure everyone has gone home to try some more dyeing in their own art practice.  That's the wonderful thing about eco-dyeing - it doesn't require any special equipment or expensive materials.

And one of the perks of keeping the 'brew' from yesterday is that the colour of the dye bath is well developed.  A beautiful dark inky brew smelling strongly of eucalypt.....yum!

So today I indulged in my own eco-dyeing frenzy and produced some great pieces.  Thanks to my friends I have an overwhelming supply of onion skins, so I packed my paper bundle solidly with onion skins.  This produced very intense prints.  I also let the brew simmer gently for an hour, usually only half an hour.

I used full sheets of Raines paper, folded concertina style.  I intend to make these into books, enhanced with some monoprinting (especially in one section where I forgot to put onion skins!). 

I will post more photos when the resulting books are completed later this week.  I'm waiting for the paper to dry before cutting it up.  Its been raining all afternoon, so they unfortunately they won't dry overnight.

Below are some photos to wet your appetite for yummy textures and colours!

Packing the folds with onion skins etc
After cooking but before the objects have been removed,
looks a mess but lots of interesting marks

A close up of the paper after dyeing

A delicate leaf print


  1. fantastic! I'm feeling terribly inspired by this - I can't wait to see the final results!

  2. beautiful images..l love eco dyeing on paper and clothx lynda

  3. I love this post, never seen anything like it before.. Cooking paper? All new to me..Never seen anything like it here in the UK.

    Could you point me in the right direction so that I can learn a little more.. I'd love to give it a go...