Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Quick and Easy Vegetable Printing!

I've always loved printmaking - especially using found materials to make impressions and patterns.  Several years ago, I was introduced to nature printing through The Nature Printing Society, and I've been printing with plants, vegetables and other natural found objects ever since!

Usually, when printing from nature, I roll out water soluble printmaking inks, and use a brayer or dauber to apply ink to whatever I'm going to print.  Recently, however, I saw a great shape in a bunch of celery I was getting ready to juice, and wanted a quicker printing option.

Here's What You'll Need:

  • The end of one bunch celery
  • A paper towel or rag
  • A rubber stamp pad - I used Staz-On, a solvent ink pad, but any dye or pigment stamp pad will work
  • Paper to print on - try copy paper, cardstock, or even tissue paper

You're Ready to Get Started!

1.  Blot your celery end with a paper towel or a rag to get up the extra juices - if the celery is too "juicy," it'll cause your print to blur.

2.  Ink up your celery!  Don't just push the celery into the stamp pad - be a bit more gentle and dab the celery with the ink pad.

3.  When the celery looks like this, you'll get a light print.  Keep gently adding ink!

4. Press the celery onto your paper with even pressure.  Voila! See how inky the celery is?

5. Every celery bunch has a different pattern - and each celery end can be used multiple times!  I've had good luck getting up to 30 impressions from a single celery end, but haven't had much luck with storing them overnight for reuse. 

The paper can be used as gift wrap, collaged into encaustic paintings, used for greeting cards - use it anywhere you'd use patterned paper! I used a celery end, but I'm thinking you could use the carved end of a potato, a cross-section of onion, or even a sliced apple!

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