Monday, 12 September 2016

Eco Printing, campfires and stars...

Hello hello my lovelies,

It's been one busy summer and now, as the season turns it's face towards Autumn, all thoughts here at OSHQ start to revolve around Christmas preparations.

The festive soaps are well underway already and I'll do a separate post about these soon, but today I'd like to tell you a little about my other product stream, my Eco Printed range of silks and original art pieces. Eco printing is a technique to create a print from plants, leaves and flowers. Each one is unique and original, the colours and patterns cannot be replicated as the print is created from the pigments inside the plant materials themselves.

Laying out gathered Meadowsweet,
Copper Beech and Blackberry leaves onto the silks.

I've been extremely lucky to have just completed an artists residency up on the Northumberland fells at a beautiful spot in the remote region of Tarset, near Bellingham. 'Wild Northumbrian' are an eco friendly site providing very comfortable, off grid, luxurious camping accommodation in traditional yurts, tipi's and a handmade shepherd's hut. It's based inside the Northumberland Dark Sky park too, so the night skies were blimmin awsome!!

The View over the Northumbrian Fells.

My husband Phil from Scapeography was also resident and working on an ancient woodland photography project during our stay. It involved a lot of pre-dawn starts and tromping in the woods, then late night finishes gazing at the glorious plethora of visible stars in one of the darkest skies in the bad way to spend your days eh? Check out his facebook page or Twitter account (@Scapeograph) for more details of his work and a peek behind the scenes at his current projects.

Our Sweet little Bothy through the Apple trees
During our stay, we had full run of the sweet handmade Polebarn Bothy, with a gorgeous log burner and fire pit to 'cook' my eco-prints over. I spent my days gathering local plant materials, attempting new dyeing techniques with plant materials I'd never used before and using off grid methods of heating so I had my work cut out.

Lichen can also be used as a dye,
I might have to try this one day too.

We were there for 4 days and I had quite a crowd at some times with lots of interest about how each print is made, what plants I've used and how each print is created, it was a learning curve for me as well as my visitors too as I don't tend to offer workshops or talks about my work (that's what comes of being a bit of a shy bird with a fear of crowds), but the wonderful feedback I received made me think I managed it quite well...PHEW!!

My kind of neighbors.

I'm delighted to say the dying and prints worked out well and I'm extra delighted with the (some surprisingly bright) results, see some of them below, what do you think?

These are both from Madder root,
such amazing colours!!

Silk bundles cooking on the stove.

Madder root in the pot, Wild Blackberry,
Copper Beech and Sycamore leaves leaving their
 ghosts on the silk.

Eucalyptus and Oak leaves give a strong
and colourful print.

This little guy kept a close eye on the activities.

Finished Scarves, cushions and mounted prints
 displayed in our Polebarn Bothy during our stay.

 As I type I'm soaking the 30+ prints I made during our stay, so I'll add more images once they are fully finished, dried and pressed. The scarves etc will be available to buy direct from my events, my studio and if I get a chance...from the website this space.

Huge thanks to the fantastic Rob and Vicky at 'Wild Northumbrian Tipi's and Yurts' for the use of their beautiful site for this project during our stay. The Yurts, Tipi's and Shepherd's huts are available to book via their website, so if you fancy a taste of off grid, luxury camping, go check them out and book a stay, you'll want to move in...we did :)))

I'd love to hear what you think about the scarves and eco printing as I love to make them, feel free to leave a comment below.

TTFN and until next time xx

Ceri x