Eucalyptus

I have been eco-printing for 5 years, and have not used any eucalyptus until last month.  Much of India Flint's work focuses on the use of Eucalypts, native to her South Australia.  I have been tempted, but since it does not grow here in the frozen north, I have concentrated on using only local plants and not ordered or purchased any.   But, thanks to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts Winter Mentor Program, my students and I were able to play with some.  Haystack offers the unique opportunity for high school students to work with local artists in their studios during the winter months.  In the past, I have taught nuno felting and Indigo shibori, but this year, I decided to throw caution to the wind and do eco-printing with materials from the florist. 

I ordered some Seeded Eucalpytus (latin name?) from Fairwinds Florist and Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus sideroxyion) leaves and stems from Pineneedlesweetgrass on Etsy. (S., of Pineneedlesweetgrass gathers the Eucalyptus near her home in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.)  When the package arrived a few days later, the blossoms were still fresh and vibrant - my lovely assistant commented that she didn't know that summer could come in a bag.  Any fresh vegetation was more than welcome during this excessive winter!

 Eucalyptus sideroxyion leaves and blossoms on unmordanted felted knit merino wool.  These are the oranges that everyone falls in love with!  I love the definition of the seeds pods and blooms as well.

Eucalyptus sideroxyion leaves and blossoms on unmordanted felted knit merino wool.  These are the oranges that everyone falls in love with!  I love the definition of the seeds pods and blooms as well.

 Eucalyptus sideroxyion  and seeded eucalyptus on unmordanted silk organza.   

Eucalyptus sideroxyion  and seeded eucalyptus on unmordanted silk organza.   

 Seeded eucalyptus on spun silk broadcloth, hot mordanted with alum, iron and copper.   Print by P. J. Z.

Seeded eucalyptus on spun silk broadcloth, hot mordanted with alum, iron and copper.   Print by P. J. Z.

 Eucalyptus sideroxyion leaves and blossoms on organic cotton muslin cold mordanted with aluminum acetate, iron and copper.

Eucalyptus sideroxyion leaves and blossoms on organic cotton muslin cold mordanted with aluminum acetate, iron and copper.

 Eucalyptus sideroxyion on washed wool crepe mordanted alum, a little copper and a tiny bit of iron.  The cloth was ever so slightly green after mordanting.  I love the definition of the flowers.

Eucalyptus sideroxyion on washed wool crepe mordanted alum, a little copper and a tiny bit of iron.  The cloth was ever so slightly green after mordanting.  I love the definition of the flowers.

 Close up of Eucalyptus sideroxyion blossom on mordanted spun silk broadcloth.

Close up of Eucalyptus sideroxyion blossom on mordanted spun silk broadcloth.

 Seeded eucalyptus on alum mordanted silk organza.

Seeded eucalyptus on alum mordanted silk organza.

I was afraid that I would fall hopelessly in love with eucalyptus and want to use it all the time.  The results are lovely!  But, I am really looking forward to spring and my local plants that yield amazing color and imagery too.

PS - I found several extraordinary orange printers last year.  Slogging through ditches appeals to me much more than ordering leaves!  

 Devil's Beggars Tick (Bidens frondosa) on THSaunders Watercolor Paper (with goldenrod buds)

Devil's Beggars Tick (Bidens frondosa) on THSaunders Watercolor Paper (with goldenrod buds)

   Coreopsis verticillata on cotton - table runner bordered with shot cotton.     

Coreopsis verticillata on cotton - table runner bordered with shot cotton.