Nature Printing in India

 IMG_9959Fresh Leaves IMG_9934

This morning I walked around my family’s farm in Nasik, India.  My cousin was showing me all the different leaves and plants that grow here and we collected many to print.  I have recently learnt this nature printing technique at the Chelsea Physic Garden with Pia Ostlund. It was used by the head gardeners to keep a record of all the plants that grew in the garden and we got to see two original and unique copies of his printed books. They had a timeless feel and although were a few hundred years old the quality of the paper and paint was so good that it really preserved the works.

It’s quite a straight forward and simple process but it has many steps to it. The results are really rewarding as it’s hard to be disappointed with all the details that get included in the print. During the workshop we used oil based printing inks of many different colours. Unfortunately before I left for India I could only get my hands on a black tub, which makes the results not as exciting as they could be. Furthermore, I chose to buy a waterbased ink as I’m planning on facilitating this workshop next week with two classes of 45 school children. I think the quality of the prints are slightly less good compared to the oil based inks, but will have to keep experimenting. I would like the impressions of the leaves to be a darker black which I’m still not sure how to do. Just use more paint? Also I would like to experiment more with printing other things than leaves, whole little plants seem to work well, as well as insects. As you probably know from my music I love bugs. Perhaps it is because they are so tiny and have so much detail; and the fact that people tend to overlook them.  Yet they are so essential for our survival. Let’s celebrate bugs!

Below are some images of the plants and grasshopper I pressed today.

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