Tag Archives: eco prints

The Spaces In-Between

9 Jun

Many years ago I bought a ceramic plaque for my sister.  It was whimsical–had a figure dancing on a mountainside and the inscription read something like “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.”  This thought was with me when I awoke this a.m.  But not quite this thought–more like “the magic happens in the in- between.”  In that place some have called “the gap.”  As in the moment between inhale and exhale.  That place where thoughts vanish.  Where all is well.  Where time doesn’t exist–is not measured by seconds–but is measured by some mysterious sense of empty space.

As I was washing out scarves from yesterday’s printing, this was on my mind.  This idea of the space in-between–and in this washing out process, the drying, the ironing, my vision shifted.  Usually I’m studying the impression of leaves–did they print?  how well? outstanding characteristics?  If you are a recorder of leaves, you know the drill, right?

But this morning my focus had shifted.  I was not so interested in the leaf shapes as in the spaces in-between the leaves.  The unplanned places.  The myriad areas that evolved on their own.  I guess some refer to this as “negative space?”  I’m not sure.But for me these spaces in-between are like portals into another realm.  They are not literal the way leaf prints can be.  Their form is unexpected, unstructured, amorphous.  And yet full of such richness and magic.

I was still contemplating this as I gazed out the kitchen windows at the woods across the road.  Without my glasses and by softly altering my gaze, the same thing happened.  The tree leaves formed delineated areas of green, but for me the mystery was in the shadows.IMG_3701  Studying eco prints, I see the same pattern–and find I’m actually having to make an effort to see the leaf prints rather than the space in between.



Walking through the house, my eye focuses on the floor rug.  Not at the dominant pattern but at the spaces in-between.  In a bit I have to get in my car.  Drive in traffic.  Unless this visual filter falls by the wayside, it should be an interesting ride.




Ending Winter’s Hibernation

25 Mar

I’m reeling here.  Trying to remember how to do this.  Everything looks so different–format, layout, graphics.  Reeling because my last post was October 4… and for those of you who asked, I think I responded that soon, soon I would be ready to post again.  Clearly “soon” meant something else.  I also feel a little–just a little–like a prodigal blogger–returning home.

Winter was weird this year.  Not very cold.  Not very long.  But lots of changes taking place,  both internally and externally.  On the external side, I’ve got to confess that this year’s political circus really has my attention.  Not since George McGovern have I felt real passion for a candidate, and now it seems the stakes are really high.  I also feel as though I’m watching a cosmic drama unfold–and the characters seem so alien to me.  Yep–I’ve got the Bern.  Have it pretty bad.  Even made two phone calls for him before the SC primary, but quickly realized my contribution had to be elsewhere.

The phone call that really convinced me was the second one–a very deaf older woman and an equally deaf husband.  He didn’t want to talk–wasn’t one bit interested in anything related to Bernie Sanders–but he forgot to hang up and for a minute I overheard the conversation he was having with his wife.  Asking how the injury on her leg was–was it still bleeding–what should they do?  The interesting thing was I felt as though I had trespassed into they home.  Felt like an intruder.  A peeping tom.  So that was the end of that.

OK.  The externals.  And the internals–don’t want to really wax poetic here, but internally I’m sensing an integration that is pretty unfamiliar.  That’s all I’ll say for now.

In October I was just skimming the surface of eco printing.  Learning the process.  Understanding the leaves.  Identifying what worked and what didn’t.  And I’m still in that beginner’s mind phase, but the results are changing.  I love ecoprinting the way Grace loves cloth.  (I love cloth, too, and look at some of my old pieces with a new-found admiration).  But this ride on the back of eco printing feels like it may be a long one.

I’ve got a web site now and finally made the decision to try selling on line for real.  Utilizing social media.  Am I really saying this?  I ask myself that right now–“am I really saying this–am I really going to try?  And the answer is clearly “yes.”  That’s all.   The learning curve has been incredibly steep.  Incredibly.

Enough of this.  I really don’t imagine I’ll get many comments from this post–but I just had to make the effort to reconnect.  So here it is.  And for those who might be curious–here’s a few of the scarves I’ve recently printed, using various natural background–i.e. cochineal, logwood, yellow onion and cutch.

Logwood on left, cochineal on right.  And spring is right around the corner.  Sending love your way….







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