The Earth Reliant Artist

Trace Willans All Natural Mixed Media

Friday, October 21, 2011

Egg on Cotton

Thought it was time to share with you the new and exciting technique I have discovered for getting strong prints on cotton. I taught this for the first time at my workshop in Hobarrt a couple of weeks ago and much fun was had.

Nearly a year ago I read this post over at inleaf which is a lovely blog by Lotta Helleborg.
She was using egg to print leaves onto linen and then dyeing it and the egg area attracted more dye leaving a very nice print in a darker shade than the background.
I tried this technique and it worked beautifully.
Now this got me thinking, what if I left the leaves on the cloth?
Magic happened that's what.

So to begin, seperate your egg. In this tecnique we will only be using the yolk ( I tried whole egg but it wasn't as effective) Itis a good idea to hold the yolk in your hand and pierce the sac to drain the contents that way you get a nice smooth mix. Add a little water about a dessertspoon per egg yolk and give a good mix. The egg needs to be wet enough so it penetrates the fabric.

Select a 100% cellulose fabric, cotton t-shirts are great.

Lay your leaves one at a time onto a piece of watercolour paper and paint with the egg, (the paper is not stricly necessary but I found that the paper when slipped into the pot dyes beautifully) then carefully place each leaf in the desired position.

Continue till all placed. Those of you who have done this on silk and wool will know that in general you will only lay leaves on half of the fabric and fold over to create a mirror image. here I have already done that step but forgot to take a photo so you are getting the second side ready to be rolled up. Just before folding or rolling brush all the upper sides of the leaves with the egg this way both sides will print. Fold and press down firmly so all are adhered. This also means that carefully placed leaves are less likely to move. Roll up and tie tightly with string. A leaf or two egged one one side and stuck tot he outside of the bundle under the string leaves a lovely resist print.
Cook as usual.

These two images cooked in iron rich water

This one in water with a spoon of aluminum dissolved in viegar goop.
Note the lovely leaves under string.

It is very important that after unwrapping the fabric is left to cure for at least a week so the egg can fully bond with the fabric.
The pictures above have not yet been washed, so some colour loss should be expected. The washed pieces are all at the studio.
I will post pics as soon as I wash these.


ronnie said...

oooo what an exciting discovery! I'm currently experiencing an egg glut so your post is giving me itchy making fingers!

deanna7trees said...

thank for the info. I will try it.

india flint said...

nice, very nice indeed!

Penny said...

Thank you for that information, I will have a go when i have time.

trish said...

this is so awesome Trace! THanks for sharing; I can't wait to try :)

Jo Murray said...

Gorgeous result... thanks for the info.

Mona said...

Thank you so much for sharing - really lovely prints you've got! This is right up my alley, must try it out very soon (autumn up here in the northern hemisphere :)

jackie said...

Thanks for sharing - the journal is lovely.

Nikki said...

Whoa, fantastic concept.
I saw some of the results done by the Hobart workshop participiants and they were truely inspirational.
I'm going to give it a go!

trish said...

DElicious :)

Unknown said...

When you say "cook" do you mean boil, or steam? Thanks!

Trace Willans said...

I have always boiled but steaming should work just as well

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Would egg printing work well on silk too? I have been printing on silk with no mordants, or with only iron water, but would like stronger images than I've succeeded in getting so far. -- Sylvia (aka "Anon")

Trace Willans said...

Yes it will work on silk. I suggest a presoak in soy milk and dry to enhance the process. And the longer you leave it to cure after cooking the better the colour retention will be.