Today's postings

  1. [Baren 41784] nature printing (Plannedscapes #
  2. [Baren 41785] bottle jack press, nature printing (Charles Morgan)
  3. [Baren 41786] Re: Nature printing ("Maria Arango Diener")
Member image

Message 1
From: Plannedscapes #
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 21:33:35 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41784] nature printing
Send Message: To this poster

It is easy to make notecards by printing leaves onto any old thing and
affixing the prints to the front of notecards, either purchased of cut from
cardstock to fit purchased envelopes.
Roll out ink on a flat surface, lay a leaf onto another flat surface and
roll ink onto it, flip it over, ink that side. Lay the inked leaf onto
paper, lay another piece on top, and rub with your fingers to transfer the ink.
The result is two symmetric prints, one from each side of the leaf. One
leave can be used many times.
This is a great winter project: Leaves can be frozen in zip lock bags in
the fall, but if you don't remember to do that, or didn't plan for this as a
winter project, there are ways to get leaves in winter. There are
semi-evergreen plants like English Ivy that has leaves even in winter. Oak
leaves can be found under the snow in winter . Florist greenery, fresh herbs
from the grocery produce aisle, or houseplant leaves can be used.
Get yourself a speaking gig with your local garden club for one of their
winter meetings. Do a hands-on workshop on nature printing. Use water
based ink, so it can dry before they leave, and take a hair drier to help the
process along, or dry prints in a warm oven on a cookie sheet if an oven is
available at the meeting site. Or layer the prints between wax paper. Let
them take home 4-6 notecards and a bunch of prints, so they can finish
assembly at home. But make sure part of the gig is bringing in some of your
real printing plates and some prints for sale so that you can talk breifly
about how nature printing is like your art. Garden clubs are always looking
for speakers and this one is great fun, as a leader or as a participant!
Member image

Message 2
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:09:42 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41785] bottle jack press, nature printing
Send Message: To this poster

Maria did a very good job of explaining nature printing ... Nice job, Maria!
With the exception of drawing in the dirt with a stick, or drawing on a rock
with a piece of charcoal, nature printing may arguably be the oldest art form.
It is a form of relief printing. It has been used by fisherfolk to keep an
accurate record of their catch. It has been used by naturalists to keep accurate
records of new plants encountered in the wild. It was used by Benjamin Franklin
on the early currency for the US as a device to prevent counterfeiting. And of
course it is used as a technique for making art just for the sake of art. The
North American Nature Printing Society holds an annual meeting with lots of
workshops. Check the website previously given by Maria for details. There will
be a meeting at the Oregon Institute for Marine Biology in September, but the
workshops are basically full at this point. As Carol indicated, there will be a
meeting in Colorado in 2011.

Since my bottle jack press design was mentioned, I would like to point out that
the (brief) plans on my website are somewhat out of date. I have revised the
design to make it stronger, but easier to construct. The much more complete,
revised plans are available at:

or you can contact me directly, off-list. The press may easily be built using
just hand tools.

I helped a lady on Prince Edward Island build one this spring. She bought
everything new, including fancy maple for the top and bottom bars, and 3/4 inch
plywood surfaced with formica for the bed and for the platen. Her cost for the
parts was $185. Personally, I always scrounge all the wood parts, including
cast-off counter top material for the bed and platen, so my cost is down around
$100 or less.

My BJ press will print relief work of all kinds, it will print collagraphs, and
it will print waterless lithographs. I designed it for a maximum image size of
16x16 inches, but you could scale that up a bit. By experiment, I found it will
print small etchings ... 3x3 inches or even 4x4 inches, but it is not designed
for the pressures that would be required for larger etchings.

Cheers ....... Charles
Member image

Message 3
From: "Maria Arango Diener"
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 23:02:05 GMT
Subject: [Baren 41786] Re: Nature printing
Send Message: To this poster

Funny you should mention that.

No, actually, the fish printing is more like "fish hugging" or maybe more
accurately, fish palpating.

The fish is inked only after covering it with salt to get most of the juicy
stuff out.
After the salt bath, it is dried carefully and all the orifices have to be
stuffed with blotting paper towels so it won't ooze during printing. Don't

After there is no visible ooze from mouth, gills and unmentionables, then
the fish is blotted dry again. Brush on ink like relief ink or whatever,
with either brushes or sponge brushes.

As you can see in my examples, you can pretty much mix inks replicating the
original color (traditional) or go off and print red/white/blue fishes if
you like.

Then the paper is placed carefully onto the fish and you use your hands to
carefully transfer the ink by feeling your way around the critter.

Eyes and details are painted and/or colored afterwards.

If you step on the fish, all the ooze would come out and make a smelly
abstract.hey! New technique?

:-) Maria