Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Some ideas of plants for Discharge or Reverse Discharge

My last post about Oxalis resembled the way acidic leaves can leave their acid on the fabric and this acids will react as a bleach. It can discharge the background color or in reverse, it will resist the dye to bond to the fabric.
Oxalis was a good example to give. Their name conceals within itself their secret and it was also the Oxalis season here in my corner of the world which is now almost gone. I was busy exploring their opportunities in my research of plants for my work but as you can see it is time to say goodbye. 

Now looking for more plants that are acidic and can do the same.
I'm sharing here some of those plants I found interesting and worked well with this technique. Some will be a surprise, some you maybe already familiar with and of course there are always more. Many many more. I continue to find them the more I try to work with different plants.

Virginia Creeper is one of my favorite. I experimented with it the first time with my students in Florida last summer as they were growing everywhere near the AYA FIBER studio. Later I found them also here in Israel and students also brought them to my classes in the Netherlands so it is a plant that grows in hot climate as well as in cold climate.
I made many samples to explore them but eventually it became two different designs.

In my classes in Whitbey island we were very surprised to find that the Lavender is discharging. Here are two example made by my students. (I don't remember to whom they belong but if you recognize it as yours let me know and I will add your credit).

The ability of Sumac to discharge is already well known as well as very rich tannin plant which is not always the case. Some plants that are discharging have no tannin at all like Virginia creeper and some of the plants that rich in tannin will not discharge at all. This two example belong to my students from Whidbey and than I use the Israeli sumac which is a bit different for one of my designs. 

Here again like the Virginia Creeper, I found out the ability of Antigonon flowers to discharge during my class in FL and later found the same plant at home. It is so beautiful but I'm aware that as much as it is common here it is not growing in cold climates. 

This print with the dogwood I made in the Netherlands. There is a big tree growing just in front of Dorie's atelier so it is very easy to get and there are many more in this area as well in other places like North America and more. I love this effect as it has something very special in it. Not just discharging.

There are so many more and I just can't cover them all here. You just need to continue try different plants and you will find them yourself. I even manage to get it from Eucalyptus bark and if you have a discoveries of you own you are welcome to share it if you like here in the comments.

Did I already said how I dislike this graphic tools in Blogger? Its a real torture to write a post with it. I will have to find a more "modern" platform.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


If you are somewhere where the Oxalis grow wild or you are growing them in your garden you might want to print with them.
It is the oxalis time here in Israel and they just everywhere calling me to work with them. I really love the shape of the leaves. They look like butterflies and the flowers make such a nice color.
Since I already made a lot of experimentation with them this season I thought I will share my observation and discoveries.

The oxalis are here every year in the end of winter and in the beginning of spring. Their period is short and than they are disappearing as we get closer to mid spring and will be here again next year. They are consider invasive so I can collect as much as I want.
The flowers gives very bright yellow in dye bath but the stems of leaves and flowers and also the leaves themselves contain oxalic acid and instead of printing color they are actually bleaching and leave a white mark that will stay even if you over dye your piece over the print.
The leaves are bleaching on the back side of them and give different effect from the upper side which is also very pretty.
The leaves come in different sizes. Those who are hidden in the shade can become quite big and those who exposed to more sunshine will be small.

Both sides of the leaves effect. On the right the back side and on the left the upper side

In the beginning of the season the stems and leaves were bleaching very strongly and as the season went ahead the leaves start to loose they bleaching characteristics and it was obvious how they change in only one month.

This piece printed in the beginning of the season - oxalis and eucalyptus and over dyed with madder

This piece was printed a few days ago when the oxalis season is slowly going down. It is printed by Terriea Kwong when she visited me and you can recognize immediately her hand writing on this piece

Printed last week with only upper side of the leaves, Oxalis flowers and more

Same piece as the previous and another one over dyed with chestnut wood. The silver piece printed with the upper side of leaves and the chestnut piece with the back

Since you are working with natural oxalic acid from the plant, it is important to protect yourself while working. The kids in Israel like to gather them and chew the stems because of the sour taste. I never heard anyone hurt by this but still,  it will good to cook or steam your bundle in a ventilated place and when you open your bundles wear mask because you don't want to breath nothing that come up.

I'm having a lot of problems managing the graphics of my posts. Text are changing by itself to a different sizes and the alignment of photos and text also moving by themselves without having the possibility to control it. Any tips how the blogger can work better will be appreciate. I'm an Apple user. Thank you!