Leaf Print Experiments

A first experiment: On the left a print, on the right the same print, just slightly traced with sakura pen and colored in with Japanese watercolors (based on plant pigments, as far as I know). Not quite satisfied with the results. I wish I knew whether or not the prints are permanent, or how fast they fade. Any or you know something about it?

2 replies on “Leaf Print Experiments”

  1. Hi, hilke.
    Long time, no contact! Mea culpa
    You ask about permanence of leaf prints. (Or any other, for that matter)
    I can only speak for oil-based inks, which do (well, the high end of the market) have good archival quality.
    But recent advances in water-based inks are giving good results. The thing is, will we be around in 100 years to judge!
    Of the recent inks to come on the market Akua has good reports.
    I have had oil-based prints framed and hanging in my house for almost ten years. The sun here is pretty strong!
    And most artwork is not exposed to harsh lights. I try to rotate my own beauties so that fading is not a problem.

    1. Hi Dinah,

      so nice to see you “walk by”! The print you see here wasn’t done with ink, this is only the plant’s own juice. (I steamed a sandwich of papers with leaves in between and this is what came out of this.) Therefore I assume they won’t be permanent. Judith Hoffman commented on Facebook that there might be a way of fixing the print but she couldn’t remember the details, only said vinegar was involved in some step.

      I don’t mind so much if the resulting print isn’t archival. But I would like it to last, let’s say, for a year on a wall with mostly sunlight. Because then I would be willing to bind them into a book where there’s mostly darkness.

      But thanks for your advice on inks nonetheless. I have used mainly sakura oil-based inks so far. But I do have some water-based lino printing colors which are so much easier to use. I’ll look out for Akua when I am next shopping for inks.


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