Colour from the Common

One of my aims in my study of the Common this year is to discover the range of colours that can be achieved from plants/tress/berries etc from the Common. Working with colour is not my usual remit so it should be an interesting experiment.

My first attempt was with the birch bark which was very successful and I have since repeated it. I then discovered a whole plantation of Forsythia on the northern boundariesImage

This became number 2


Following on from this I have added oak bark, cherry bark and honesty flowers. I am using the slow technique of leaving the fabric with the plant material in Kilner jars in the hope of getting as strong colours as possible. I am also hoping for some interesting marks. The jars will sit on my conservatory window ledge for most of the summer. 

Following on from my success of printing with willow and in pursuit of a darker green, I thought I would try this



The jars of fabric and plant material are processed in exactly the same way as one would bottle fruit. This is in order to seal the jar and prevent mould from forming. Time will tell whether some of indeed any have been successful.

Thinking ahead I have been wondering what I should do with these fabrics. Musing about the Common and what images immediately come to mind I think it is almost always the row of beautiful Scots Pines by the underpass on the Avenue that were planted in commemoration of the First World War. 


In particular I find the bark of these trees very beautiful


Today I found some pieces that had fallen off so I took them home


Not sure where I am going with this yet but food for thought





4 Comments on “Colour from the Common”

  1. arlee says:

    OO, these look so promising-and the tree bark patterns are surely stitching inspiration

  2. Particularly love the bark pics. Look forward to seeing how they inspire your work.

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