The old dogwood trees in our front yard are the subjects of my next project. I had this idea about working small, but by utilizing repetition creating something quite large. I imagined relatively pure impressions of leaves, similar in size and shape, but each still distinctly unique.
I started by collecting leaves of uniform size, then sandwiched them between rectangular silk pieces, with sheets of paper in between, to minimize bleed through. The stack was clamped tight, secured with clips, and left to simmer for a few hours. It rested in the pot overnight, and was left to dry for a few more days before unveiling.
The result was more amazing than I envisioned. The clarity of the prints, the details, and the colors are just delightful. Once the silk began to dry the edges curled up and the colors shifted from brown to maroon. Now I have about 90 of these small pieces of cloth - more than enough for my grand scale project, which will take shape slowly, like most of my work. In the meantime I marvel over the byproducts that were left behind. The spent, but still intricate dogwood leaves, and the small pieces of blotter paper that soaked up the trace pigments. Beauty is always in the details.