NATURE’S beauty changes with the seasons. As fall approaches,
turning over a new leaf
Fiber artist and eco-printer Rebecca Yeomans enlists nature to steer the direction of her artwork
By Emory Rakestraw
leaves turn burgundy and golden. Dormant winter echoes
nature at rest. New life in the spring and summer means
As seasons come and go, Rebecca Yeomans views each
as an artistic vessel.
“I get so excited in the spring when the leaves are starting to come out.
I really like the spring greens, they’re fresh and pretty,” she says. “I like
grapevine leaves, Coreopsis flowers, Catawba leaves and Japanese maples.
They’re all good printers.”
By printers, Yeomans is referring to eco-printing, which involves trans-ferring
plant and flower shapes onto cloth or paper.
The first recorded botanical printing dates to ancient Greece, when phy-sician,
pharmacologist and botanist Pedanius Dioscorides used the process
in a plant-identification manual. Some 1,400 years later, Leonardo Da Vinci
showcased a sage leaf alongside printing instructions in one of his manu-scripts.
30 october 2021
While botanical identification with printing has ancient roots, it was
solidified by fiber artist India Flint in her 2008 book Eco Colour.
Yeomans’ long love of foraging and fiber arts intertwined once she was
introduced to the technique.
“In 2016, I took an intensive three-day workshop with a Wilmington
fiber arts group on eco-dyeing,” she says. “It was about 10 of us, but I’m
the only one still doing it. I really took to the process.”
The following year, Yeomans participated in a workshop with Flint. In
a signed copy of Eco Colour, Flint wrote to Yeomans, “Dye slow and dye
Today in Yeomans’ garage workspace, cloth and leaves drape the
table. Her foraged collection comes from daily walks and plants grown
in her garden.
Catalpa Jam, 28.5 x 41.5 inches, catalpa infused with madder root printed on silk/wool fabric and stitched with silk thread.