Recently, my friend gave me leaves she had collected on a recent trip to Florida. I was anxious to discover whether or not they would produce botanical prints. While I usually eco-print on cloth, I decided to experiment with handmade paper. I have collected a small assortment of handmade paper–some purchased on Etsy and some gifted by a paper-making friend. In addition, I had a few sheets of Fabriano paper leftover from another project.
I started by gathering the leaves from Florida, which I had frozen for preservation: cape myrtle, bougainvillea, live oak and sumac. Although I had never before printed with these particular leaves, I had read about the possibilities. I also decided to do “leaf dips” with various modifiers: vinegar, pickle juice, and iron water. My kettle was filled with plain water and a small amount of diluted sandalwood powder for color.
I simmered the kettle for an hour and then removed the paper bundles immediately. I have observed in my past paper experiments that additional time in the pot was not beneficial–the paper began to disintegrate in some cases. I have preserved the leaves and will do further experimentation. (Only the live oak leaf did not print!) Below are the results: