We caught the end of a lovely BBC programme on tv the other night: Edible Garden. Alys Fowler collected damson plums, eggs from her chooks and picked lovely red apples from her garden. She also did a spot of Hapa-zome or ‘leaf-dyeing’ printing that caught my eye – where she collected leaves and flowers, then bashed them with a hammer overtop some fabric, to ‘collect’ the prints!
This sunny afternoon, Mr 5 and I, along with with our friend Sophie, decided to try the nature printing technique. We collected an assortment of ‘juicy’ leaves and flowers from the garden, laid them on top of a piece of calico cloth and then bashed them with a mallet. Mr 5 enthusiastically smashed his collection of leaves and flowers, and enjoyed experimenting with different types, to see which made the best prints.
We found that the brighter and juicier the plant, the better the print. So the dandelion flower made a spectacular yellow messy splotch, but the purple sweet pea gave an exact little print of the flower and stem. Mint leaves worked well, as did impatiens. Our stripey geranium made an excellent purpley flower splat, and the orange nasturtium came out beautifully too.
I’m not sure how long the colours will last, but we’re pretty pleased with our little piece of fabric printed with nature.