Caroline works with natural dyes and botanical contact printing (ecoprinting ) which is a contemporary adaptation of the ancient art of dyeing with plant based pigments. Using this technique she makes wall art, home textiles and wearable art, capturing the beauty of nature by using the pigments imprints and chemistry of the leaves themselves – no synthetic ink, dyes or silk screens are involved. Despite the natural and sustainable nature of the textiles, they are machine washable.
Her inspiration comes from nature itself, working with seasonally available materials and letting the shapes of the leaves determine her designs. Specific folding techniques allow symmetry, mirroring and repetition.
The plants and dyes come from sustainable sources - many are grown in her own garden. The smallest change in plant species, climatic conditions water source or printing technique can produce marked variations in the prints, meaning every item is unique. Essentially these are monoprints. A magical combination of art, science and serendipity.
The textiles used are natural fibres, organically produced and ethically sourced wherever possible. Vintage textiles are also upcycled, giving them a new lease of life. Much of the linen and lace is sourced from French brocantes. The cooking pots used for processing are also recycled - copper preserving pans, cast iron laundry pots, aluminium cooking pots. The antithesis of today’s ‘throwaway’ society.
There is little published information on the chemistry of botanical printing. With her science background Caroline continues to research the chemistry and synergism behind the the complex interaction of cloth, mordants, modifiers and botanicals. She is renowned for her knowledge of not just the ‘how to’ but the ‘why’
Caroline trained as a doctor and worked as GP for 25 years. Retirement has given her the opportunity to pursue textile art. She has exhibited, taught and lectured both in the UK and internationally, and is passionate about promoting and sharing this magical and sustainable artform.
Link to a recent interview with Caroline