Monday, July 18, 2016

Intensive natural prints tutelage 植物印染密集教學

A pile of colorful natural prints done by one student in the intensive tutelage.

 My student Mag learnt from me a piece of eco printed scarf two years ago. She is very enthusiastic to learn the in-depth technique recently. Frankly speaking, in Hong Kong I hardly find students who are willing to spend more time and money in exploring the techniques.  May be buying the ready made is cheaper. Making by own is too time consuming.  Or may be they find such natural prints, contact prints, eco prints, botanical prints......whatever the name of skills it's "imperfect" .....sometimes with hues that they're not expected. As we love handmade, one-of-a-kind stuff and enjoy the process of expectation, we're hooked doing one after one.
I'm indulged in the aesthetics of creating "Imperfection".
植物印染在香港仍是冷門手工藝,對此認識的人不多,兩年前學生 Mag 
跟我製作過一次簡單印染,想不到她說要認真學習從基本到多層次變化的技巧,願意花時間學費研究的本地學生始終不多,這麼誠懇,就在兩天的密集個人課堂我教授了多種技巧,用天然材料製作了十多片不同圖紋色調的布料,當中有𢇁、綿、羊毛絨布等,學生説這是「雞精」課程, 給她增加了很多養料。

 I have everything well prepared for the intensive two-day workshop .  Plants mostly windfalls collected from nearby, onion skins free from grocery.  Only the eucalyptus silver dollar bought from florist together with a free bag of rose leaves for the dyeing.
 I taught from the basic of making iron solution with found objects to shades making with mordant.  Fabrics are silk, chiffon, cotton, wool flannel.  Techniques are contact prints, natural dyes with skills of making tie marks.
 Ingredients are not that expensive but patience and sincerity are matters most.
The main object of the contact prints is to do with clear shades and hues just with the simple natural media. The first sample of different outcomes with only iron and alum mordant.

Mirror prints on cotton and silk with assorted leaves

Looks like Vietnam rice rolling..... ready to steam.  Just in an hour two different ways of making two styles of scarf from one dye pot.  That's my skill of  "killing two birds with one stone."

Another piece of tie dye technique combined with contact prints all done in piece

Student knows me well I want to teach her how to save time but make two or more ways in one go.  Here's another piece.  Just a little leaves we made the scarf of both ends differently - one end  is rich in tie marks and the other simply with leaf marks.

Way of folding to make prints and tie marks across the scarf.  

Scarf with sumac leaves picked from my apartment behind

Different outcome of "moon side" and "sun side" of leaf placement

Next technique is interesting.......  with Mogi's curiosity ......
We made the mirror prints on cotton and silk......

A few casaurina, sorts of eucalyptus and rose...... two prints done in one bundle!

The last one on wool flannel with bold, clear and delicate prints after all.
A pile of 12 pieces done in two-day intensive tutelage workshop by my enthusiastic and lovely student Mag.
THANK YOU Mag for coming .......
Mogi and I always love students and awaiting next cuddle.
If you like to learn the basic, simple yet fabulous shades, you may follow my pdf instant download tutorial file (English version) (Russian version) from my ETSY.


  1. You are finding ever greater possibilities with these techniques!

    1. Thank you Rachel. Nature is the marvellous resource of creation.

  2. Wonderful post; glad Mag came to learn what you love to teach!!

    1. Thank you Ginny. Students' engagement is my pleasure to share.

  3. These are amazing. You get such beautiful results. When I try I get a few bits that are nice but mostly they just look 'dirty' that is not to say I have not rescued small pieces but nothing as big as yours. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Natural printing is interesting and sometimes very moody as it maybe good or so so. Anyway appreciate what Mother Nature gives.


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