Deconstructed geranium leaves

I wasn’t feeling very inspired when my weekly day at Morley College came round on Tuesday.

The building/decorating work is still dragging on at home (I’m being deafened by the man sanding the floors as I write this) and the lack of space, combined with the dust and dirt, means that I haven’t been able to make any stock for the all-important Christmas markets.

So I didn’t really have an aim in mind on Tuesday, and decided just to play around with some more deconstructed screenprinting.

I picked a few geranium leaves from the flowerbed in front of the building (don’t tell the Morley gardeners!) and arranged them under the screen. Mark had mixed a couple more colours – yellow and black – in a thicker consistency, so I put some yellow in the centre of the leaves and then pulled the rust colour across the whole screen.

Then I added a vague outline of the leaves in black, using a syringe, but didn’t pull it, and left it to dry.

Because previous first pulls with Manutex had not been very good, I decided to do the first pull on paper.

The black and yellow dyes, perhaps because they were thicker, seemed to block the Manutex in places, as you can see. However, it came out much better than expected, so I wish I had used fabric straight away!

The second and third pulls were on calico – you can still see the areas blocked by the black and yellow dyes.

Obviously I should have added more Manutex to the screen for the third pull!

The final pull was on a piece of paper that had been under the leaves when I added dye to the screen, which had the blank outline of the leaves against a rusty background. The overprinting on this worked quite well.

Paper before overprinting
Paper after overprinting

I was very pleased with these results and felt a lot more inspired by home time. Textile therapy had worked again! 🙂


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Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

5 thoughts on “Deconstructed geranium leaves”

    1. Hilary – I was a bit confused when I first read about it too!

      Have a look at the video in this post – it may help. Essentially you’re creating a design in thickened dye paste on a screen, which you leave to dry. Then you push more thickener without dye through the screen, and some of the dye paste on the screen gets transferred to the fabric each time. Eventually there’s not enough dye left on the screen to create a decent print.

      So unlike conventional screen printing, each print you do is different, because the amount of dye on the screen decreases every time you pull. I guess that’s why it’s called deconstructed printing. 😉

  1. I love how you stretch and build upon techniques … you’ve got a fabulous creative mind. Outlining the leaves is brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

  2. There is nothing better than immersing yourself in creativity and putting worries aside – for a while at least. I hope to try this technique when I have time – thank you for sharing.

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