Books: Making Art with Nature
Nature really does provide us with the means to do all kinds of things besides eat and make tea. The following books show you how to do all kinds of beautiful, colorful things with plants. From inks, to pigments, and embroidery, we've got you covered!
Make Ink: A Forager's Guide to Natural Inkmaking by Jason Logan
The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. In Make Ink, Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world. Readers will learn how to forage for materials such as soot, rust, cigarette butts, peach pits, and black walnut, then how to mix, test, and transform these ingredients into rich, vibrant inks that are sensitive to both place and environment. Organized by color, and featuring lovely minimalist photography throughout, Make Ink combines science, art, and craft to instill the basics of ink making and demonstrate the beauty and necessity of engaging with one of mankind's oldest tools of communication.
Natural Palettes: Inspiration from Plant-Based Color by Sasha Duerr
Renowned natural dyer, artist, and educator Sasha Duerr envisions a new age of fresh, modern color palettes, drawing from our original source of inspiration and ingredients--the natural world around us. This innovative plant-based color-guide includes twenty-five palettes with five hundred natural color swatches, providing inspiration for sustainable fashion, textiles, fine art, floral design, food, medicine, gardening, interior design, and other creative disciplines. Bring the healing power of forest bathing into your home with a palette of spruce cones, pine needles, and balsam branches. Move past Pantone and embrace the natural balance of a pollinator palette with Hopi sunflower, red poppy, echinacea, and scabiosa.
Duerr complements the palettes with short essays that provide useful information. She connects the colors with particular landscapes, the restorative qualities of medicinal plants, common garden flora, lifestyle experiences, food and floral waste, and the ecological benefits of using organic materials to create colors. You may never view color--or your plants--the same way again.
The Organic Artist for Kids: A DIY Guide to Making Your Own Eco-friendly Art Supplies from Nature by Nick Neddo
Immersed in the natural world, The Organic Artist for Kids inspires creativity by connecting kids and their adults to our wilderness roots.
In addition to offering a wide variety of fun, collaborative projects using nature as a source for art supplies and inspiration, this book also introduces the concepts of awareness and perception that are fundamental to the creative process. Children will be encouraged to learn new skills, build resilience, and be resourceful as part of an urgent struggle to prevent and undo Nature Deficit Disorder. Rooted in experimentation and an understanding that fun is fundamental to learning, kids will refine their drawing skills, as well as increase their appreciation for the visual arts and the natural landscape.
Just some of the projects and skills covered include:
- Making pens and wild inks
- Making paint from stones and rocks
- Crafting your own paintbrushes
- Making simple stencils and rubbings
The Organic Artist for Kids encourages you to return to the days when art was made with all-natural materials like charcoal and birch bark.
Mystical Stitches by Christi Johnson
Explore personal transformation through the stitching of dreams and intentions. Anything but ordinary, Mystical Stitches combines the beloved and accessible craft of embroidery with a spiritual element, introducing a rich treasury of 200 magical symbols you can use to set an intention and create personal icons to wear or embellish items in the home. Christi Johnson offers unique patterns inspired by botanicals, animals, numbers, the cosmos, earth elements, zodiac signs, and mythical beasts, for novice or well-practiced crafters to combine into talismans with personal meaning. Johnson’s folk art style is vibrant and unintimidating and provides a framework for bringing spiritual elements into physical form.
Hand Printing from Nature
Discover how to use natural materials to print on any surface, from paper and to ceramics, wood, and walls. With simple step-by-step instructions and clear photographs, Laura Bethmann encourages crafters of all levels to create original nature prints with leaves, flowers, fruits, shells, stones, and more. Her unique project ideas include stationery printed with maple leaves, a clothes hamper printed with scallop shells, and a pillow printed with cabbage. Before you know it, you’ll be designing one-of-a-kind nature prints to reflect your unique personality and style.