The Natural Imprint

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Clarke, L. (2020) The Natural Imprint [Fabric printing]. Northern Ireland: Private Collection.
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Clarke, L. (2020) The Natural Imprint [Fabric printing]. Northern Ireland: Private Collection.
Attachment thumbnail
Clarke, L. (2020) The Natural Imprint [Fabric printing]. Northern Ireland: Private Collection

Questions for your Sketchbook to Prepare for The Natural Imprint

What colours are most vibrant around me?

Is it windy, if so how I know? Can I hear/feel/see it? What does it sound/feel/look like?

What other sensations am I experiencing?

What is it like being outside? Cold, wet, comfortable/uncomfortable?

How do I feel emotionally and physically? How can I record that in my sketchbook?

Are there flowers/leaves/bits of wood, etc, that I can rub on my sketchbook?

Workshop Theme: ‘The Natural Imprint’ 

“An imprint may be defined as an impression or stamp, a mark or line on a surface or body, a verb meaning to make an impression (a feeling or opinion about someone or something), a mark on someone or, to simply fix an idea firmly in one’s mind.” (Dean, 2016, p171) 

When we consider the imprint, associations can be made to the natural world and the impression both animals and humans leave on their offspring. An imprint, both in terms of a physical impression or emotional association can create powerful forms of attachment and connection between image and object. This connection may become a source of comfort, support or reassurance. It could have been a transitional object from infancy or be an image which induces fond memories in adulthood. 

Fabric Printing and Cyanotype

  • Printing using natural materials and found objects 

This workshop will focus on simple printmaking techniques that can be done by hand or printing press and may be incorporated into client work using natural materials and found objects. Printing onto fabric offers the potential for further development in considering how you could incorporate the fabric into other art or projects such as adding a mixed media element with stitching, collaging or scrapbooking or incorporating the fabric into talismans, clothes or furnishings. 

Preparation: Consider what the word ‘imprint’ means for you and what associations and memories this may bring or be represented by in your life. Using natural, found materials in Botanic such as leaves, flowers or perhaps objects from home, think how you might turn a piece of printed fabric into an object for reflection perhaps as an art piece, talisman or an item of clothing you create from your print. 


– A piece of fabric for printing onto – cotton/linen/polyester (e.g. an old t-shirt, scrap cloth, old pillowcase etc.) 

– Found materials at Botanic or printable objects from home (e.g. String, textured surfaces, cardboard templates etc.) 

– Tweezers (for holding and placing ‘fiddly’ objects) 

– A plastic bag/cover for printed fabric to be carried home (fabric ink should be touch dry within 24hrs but will take 7 days to ‘cure’ before it can be washed) 

– Wet wipes/gloves/apron if preferred. Fabric inks can be washed off hands with soap and water but may be messy to work with. 

Anna Atkins – Cyanotype

Marie Craig – Cyanotype

Artists Using Found Materials

Printing Leaves onto Pillowcases

Impressions of Nature

Caroline Bell – Eco Printing 

Leaf Printing On Fabric