Saturday 21 March 2020


What can I do with myself when I am feeling anxious and not the least bit creative? This is a question I am asking myself a great deal at the moment. So strangely this is one of the things I like to do when I am not feeling creative, design creative prompts for others to have a go at.

So Sunday Prompts will pop up each Sunday until we no longer need them or I run out of steam. Hoping the former rather than the later. 
It will be a series of processes that you can dip into during the week as creatively or practically as you like. There will be things for a variety of adult abilities. The Prompts will progress from week to week, either connecting each process to make an on going project, or starting new items each week, however you want to make use of them. 
These processes can be done on paper or fabric, its up to you. 
We all like to work differently, it is not a test!!

I would love to see what you make of this, so please post on Instagram and #theyardartspace or @sb.brown21 so I will get to see what you are up to. Or leave a comment on this page.

So onto the first Prompt, no drawing or special skills required.
  Eco Printing. 
I want you to start by going for a country walk or getting out into the garden. Collect a few leaves, for the best results collect, rose, bramble, oak, cranes bill geranium. Do you have an Acer or Japanese Maple coming into leaf? You don't need many, we are not ravaging the country side or stripping bare the garden. Onion skins are good too.
Once you have a collection of vegetation, you will also need the following. 
Rusty metal items, fairly flat ones, old washers, tacks, steel wool  are really good (use gloves when handling all this stuff)
Natural fabrics, cotton, silk, perhaps an old cotton sheet or shirt, it does not work on man made fabrics.
Paper, thick cartridge, water colour or pages from a sketchbook. If you only have thin cheaper paper just handle it with more care when its wet.
The size of these substrates should be the same as the tile or tube, folding is allowed.
Couple of ceramic tiles or wooden doweling or old rolling pin. I use plastic drain pipe too.
Strong rubber bands or sturdy thread or string.
Lay out your natural and man made finds on the paper 
and the fabric
Make a flat pile with sandwiched layers of finds so that the whole thing will be flat when pushed down. This can be separate squares of paper/fabric or a stripe folded with materials between each layer.The important factor is the contact of each item to the paper or fabric.
Now make a tile pack and clamp it firmly by wrapping tightly with string or elastic bands.
Or if you are making a roll, bind your paper or fabric tightly around a cylindrical thing or 
snuggly around itself to make a tight bundle.
Pop your package into a pan (do not cook in this pan again) it must fit and be submerged, slug a splosh of white vinegar in...although I often forget to. Boil for an hour. Keep it topped up, you really don't want to let it boil dry and have a timer on, you do not want to forget you have put it on either.
Trust me the smell is terrible if that happens!!
After an hour turn off and drain. Use gloves and be aware that the water will stain things. 
Allow the package to go cold (never managed to do that to date) before unwrapping.
This is what I achieved... the above examples on fabric and Khadi paper
Paper, you can really see the onion skins.

Over to you, if you have a piece that is less than successful re bundle with leaves and boil again. Remember not to over load your bundles, you need space around leaves to see the edges print. It is all about contact, if your materials can't touch the substrate you won't get clear prints. 
If you get leaves floating at the top of the pan, you have done something a bit differently to the above instructions.

Its the walk in the fresh air that is the key to this activity.
I now have a week to work out what we could do with these delicious papers and fabrics...
watch this space.

Look up the following artists for more information about Eco Printing,



mycamerandme365 said...

Creative Sunday is a great idea Sue!

Sue Brown said...

Thank you, should have thought it through and posted on Sunday though.Enjoy experimenting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your generous nature As you know I do a lot of eco dyeing. I will get out some of my pieces and try some ideas to work over what nature and the fish steamer has done.

PJ said...

Thank you! I needed this prompt....❤️

Maddie Rock said...

I have just found you via facebook - and am super excited to try this and your other prompts out. Looks like I'm going to have a busy few days ahead of me to catch up with you! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your inspiring ideas!

Chrys H-W said...

Thanks for sharing your lovely ideas and skills with us, Sue. I tried looking at these through your link and just got a security warning but not this time. I wanted to do this and you have encouraged me! I am going down with a bug since lunchtime today,just hope it doesn't get worse!! When better, can I go back and try the past ones too, please? Hope you and family are all well and staying safe. Take care. XX