Sunday, October 28, 2007

Japanese maple, Japanese silkscreen

This Japanese Maple keeps fooling me. On those gray, raining days, I'd look out the window and see the bright yellow tree and think, oh hey, the sun came out!

During the summer, I had thought I'd let the overgrown area here stay overgrown and maybe set it up as a sitting area or something. But had second thoughts -- in the afternoon, it gets a ton of hot, direct sun and really isn't a good spot for sitting. So today, I cleared up the area and put in the path, as I had originally, originally planned. So here's the path opened up. Doug scored a big pile of bark dust from a tree felling crew, so I'm partaking in the bounty and using that for the path.

Doug also insisted that I take the foxgloves and columbines TODAY, so I planted them in the area that I just cleared up. I think it'll be a great spot for them (a nice little shady area underneath some trees):

Plus a photo of text printed on eggplant slices. Mixed the soy with the pb today, and it printed fairly lightly, you can tell that it's there, but it's a little hard to read. I added just a bit of balsamic vinegar and that helped some. However, it did not hold up to brushing with olive oil (completely obliterated the printing). The texts on the unbrushed slices held up ok after the baking, but didn't taste as good as the other slices (with olive oil).

So far, the best results were from the hershey syrup with sour cream (and also powdered sugar, from Gretchin's experiment), and the nutella with balsamic vinegar. I think I'll pick up some ketchup tomorrow and see if I can get something to print at least reddish, if not red, rather just brown all the time.

So this year's experiments have gone a lot better than last year's, during which I printed on wonton skins with chocolate sauce. In that series of tests, Harry and David's chocolate sauce seemed to have worked fine, but Kroeger's didn't. But I really ran out of time to try too many different things and just left it at that. I'm guessing (and I believe Gretchin's results were similar) the wonton skins are just not absorbent enough.


gl. said...

i caught a glimpse of your garden at open studios; i like reading about it here. btw, i don't think sven mentioned, but he was -really- impressed with your troll princess.

yes, different colors is a trick. i never realized "brown" food makes such good ink. i wonder why. there's got to be interesting chemistry to this. like printing oil on top of oil. did you let the print dry on the eggplant before brushing it with oil or did you oil it before printing?

also, do you have access to that rice-paper they use to inkjet edible photos onto & then slide it onto food like cake? i'll bet it would make excellent gocco prints.

fingerstothebone said...

Maybe there's more to it than this, but I think that brown (almost black) foods make better ink purely because they're a darker color and that just shows up better on most foods which tend to be lighter in color. You're putting down such a thin layer of the food-ink that the lighter colors don't show. For example, even in just a thin layer, coffee is more visible than say lemonade, if you spill some of each on the counter top. That's my theory anyhow.

Some of the lighter color food-inks that didn't show on foods actually printed fine (I printed them on saran wrap and held them up to the light).

With the eggplant slices, I let the printing dry for about 10 minutes then brushed with the olive oil on top. 10 minutes was probably not enough, but I ran out of time -- had to put the slices in the oven, so we could eat, so we could get to our concert! I think brushing it with oil first, the oil would act more like a resist, unless you're using a ink that has a lot of oil in it too. Although maybe you brush it with oil, let it soak in, pat it dry, and then print? That might work.

I don't know where I can get the rice paper, but the kinds that I've had (wrapped around candies and such) melt very quickly once exposed to liquids. Not sure how it works with inkjet technology -- maybe there isn't enough liquid coming out to melt it? -- but I'm going to guess that with the gocco, way too much liquid will be coming out and it will pretty much melt on contact. It's worth checking out though. I wonder if Uwajimaya would have some?

I was telling my trainer about the apple slices and she suggested putting the apple slices in a food dehydrator after printing! I thought that was a pretty nifty idea.

I told the Troll Princess/Bride that Sven liked her, and now she wants to know if maybe Sven is her long lost Troll Groom!?

gl. said...

sven says, "I am certainly not 'lost.' ;)"