On a visit to the Fremantle Arts Centre last Friday to see Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles curated by Maggie Baxter, I parked on a side road. The street trees were eucalypts and some branches had fallen quite some time ago. The leaves were quite dry and brown. In the pouring rain I dragged them to the car boot and stuffed them in! Unfortunately I don’t know their botanical names but there were two leaf sizes; long ones and small ones ( scientific, eh?)
Last night I found my trusty spray bottle of “iron water”. It’s a very old and, I suspect, quite concentrated solution of water and ferrous sulphate. It is a dark orange.
Selecting some old pieces of cotton sheeting and a few pieces of silk, I sprayed each liberally with the iron water and laid my Fremantle Arts Centre leaves on them. I bound each piece tightly with my increasingly beautiful over-dyed bandages, made of torn strips of old sheeting. I then boiled all the bundles in water on the stove in my dyeing only stockpot for an hour or a bit more (wasn’t paying attention).
The bundles cooled in the liquid overnight and this afternoon I opened them up. I’ve washed them in the washing machine and ironed them dry.
I’m very pleased with these, although I’d like to find a way of getting good leaf imprints without the grey of the iron mordant.