It’s a great feeling to be inspired by nature. This week we invite you to get more connected with the natural world, and so we’ve put together a couple of simple ways to get creative with the natural resources that Mother Nature has to offer.

 

Charcoal Rubbings

A much loved school activity, this is also a fantastic way of appreciating natures beautiful patterns and textures.  Simply lie your desired object flat underneath a piece of paper, take a soft pencil or charcoal, if you have it, and rub gently over the surface to bring the object underneath alive on your paper.

Mono-Printing

This one does require more equipment, but the results can be stunning. Feathers, ferns, and other foraged materials make the perfect subject matter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Mono-Print

You will need:

Mother Nature’s treasures

An old book

Paper (printmaking versions work best)

Water-soluble block printing ink

Plexiglass plate

Brayer roller

Old newspapers to make clean up easy

Tweezers

Method:

  1. On your daily exercise outing, select the leaves and ferns that have the most interesting shapes and textures. Once home place your foraged finds in the middle of an old book (old telephone books are perfect) for an hour or so to completely flatten them out and take away some of the moisture
  2. Prepare your work area – old newspapers will protect your work surfaces
  3. Put a small amount of ink onto your Plexiglass plate. Using a brayer roller, roll the ink out covering the surface
  4. Select the leaves you’d like to print and place them gently onto the inked plate. Roll more ink onto the foliage, making sure to cover it evenly
  5. Using tweezers, place your plants onto your paper. Place another clean sheet of paper on top, and gently push the two sheets together
  6. After evenly rubbing the surface (you can use a clean roller for this if you have one), lift off the top sheet and remove the leaves from the bottom sheet
  7. You will be left with two beautiful prints
  8. You can also start to experiment with different colour inks to give your pieces more dimension

You can also watch a handy mono-printing tutorial by Lorna Miller here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTboiaDJhLA

 

Flower pressing and collaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best flowers for pressing are dry and without morning dew. Try to also go for thin -petalled flowers as they tend to dry out quicker.

Remove the stamens as close to the base as possible and cut thick flowers in half to dry flat. Wrap your delights in greaseproof paper and slot them into a heavy set book, pilling more books on top can also be helpful.

Wait at least a week before removing and be very careful.

These pressed beauties make beautiful adornments to collages with other pieces of nature’s bounty.

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