These prints were made with heavy unsized paper, to which i applied a gelatin size, using the fern leaf for a stencil and then dyed the paper using green tea with various mordants. I later printed the fern leaves using a home made ink made of asphaltum, balsam and flaxseed oil. I really enjoy the stencil/overlay look to these, they remind me of fossils, which goes well with the whole carboniferous asphaltum idea.
These, perhaps, i am looking for a more eastern look, the print on the left, entitled fern5, is printed on some nice silky gampi paper, and the flaxseed oil has bled around the edges, staining the paper. I glued the gampi to a heavier stock with the jin shofu — wheat paste — i made myself from flour and water. The process, part of the printmaking technique called chine colle, is simple, you take some white flour and make a dough with water, keep adding water until the dough is submerged and keep kneading it. The starch separates out into the water and the wheat gluten, or what is left, stringifies and lumpifies into a glutenous blob. You let the starch settle, pour off the water, let it dry, and then make your paste by adding water and applying gentle heat, stirring constantly until the mix turns clear. I strain it thru some silk and apply with a brush.
Supposedly this is the same gluten that you can buy in the fancy health food stores and shi-shi new age restaurants. I didn’t try it.
Perhaps the next time i will document more than just the gummy lump of gluten.
There is a pretty good book describing the whole chine colle process, Chine Colle: A Printer’s Handbook. Shure, Brian (2000). San Francisco; Crown Point Press ISBN 978-1-891300-15-8
I got it out from the NY Public Library.