Leaf printing

Today we had fun making prints using the natural pigments of leaves. We folded pieces of unbleached cotton in half, sandwiching the leaves between the two layers of fabric. Then we laid the fabric on a wooden block and hit the sandwiched leaves repeatedly with hammers to release the pigments.

The leaf pigments made detailed prints on the fabric and in some cases even picked up the grain pattern of the wood block. One group member had the idea of adding petals to the prints and kindly went and collected some from her nearby garden for everyone to share. The colours enhanced the pieces of work so much that a bunch of flowers was purchased from Tesco to add even more variety.

Despite the noise generated from all the hammering, this was a pretty relaxing activity. It was nice to work with natural materials, smell the crushed leaves and get the instant gratification of seeing a perfectly formed leaf or petal appear through the fabric.

It was so satisfying to peel back the fabric and expose a beautiful symmetrical design.

We were very pleased with our finished work and some of us plan to turn them into hanging wall art to enjoy at home.