Leaf decay is a complex mechanism involving bacterial, fungal and chemical processes. As the plant material is broken down, numerous intermediate chemicals are formed, some water-soluble, and some not. Organic acids and tannin also result in leaf decomposition. These new compounds are not present in the living foliage. They can stain or react with the cloth or paper fibers to create interesting, and provide a whole new palate of colors. The spotted appearance on the surface is where bacterial colonies have started and they slowly grow outward.
Whenever I am out gathering plant materials for eco-printing, I often look out for ones that were partially buried beneath old leaves and dirt. I’ve used them in my experiments, and was amazed with the results. I am in awe with Mother Nature–even the decayed matter of nature has a beauty and design of perfection!
It was a satisfying experience and I am happy to share them in this post.
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