been boiling books

Everyone is doing it.  Boiling books.

I gathered some leaves, bunged them into a concertina book, (I used 140lb watercolour paper with high cotton content), clamped it between two ceramic tiles and popped it into a pan of boiling water with a cup of white vinegar and a teaspoon of tannin powder.

The first two books had walnut ink added to the boiling water.  This stained the paper and also the unglazed edges of my tiles.  The foliage was simply crammed in between the pages.

boiled book 1

The next pages had only vinegar and tannin powder but some of the walnut ink may have leaked out of the ceramic tiles.   I was more careful with the placement of the leaves, using much less on these pages.

boiled book three boiled book two

Next step is to try to so something similar using fabric instead of paper?  Maybe.  I am a bit fed up of cleaning the cooker…….

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5 Responses to been boiling books

  1. janene f says:

    Wendy, these are wonderful. You have a lot of variations and much better contrast than I’m getting. Are you using an enamel pot?


    • wendycoyne says:

      I am using a stainless steel pot. I don’t know what my clamps were made from, but they rusted overnight, so maybe iron? And the tannin helps. You could add a couple of tea bags into the pot?
      Yours were lovely btw


  2. I’ve been collecting leaves today ready for some boiling. Need a few more.


  3. Julie Mackinder says:

    I’ve been to Belton today and collected some leaves and boiled two books with several teabags and vinegar. It worked! I’ll take some pics tomorrow when it’s dried. It would be interesting to try it with fabric next.


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