Bracken for Bedding.

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Before we discovered the spores of bracken are carcinogenic we used it in many ways. It was used as fodder, packaging, soap, briquettes for fuel and bedding for livestock. Since I often see cattle in the fields along the coast I decided to make a journal spread inspired by the use of bracken as bedding for livestock.

I used matte acrylic to give a basic background of sky and earth, using baby wipes to blend out the different colours. Then I created my own stamped tissue by stamping with a music stamp on thin, orange tissue. I scrunchled this up to create a textured background, reminiscent of the swathes of bracken I remember as a child on rural walks. I used yellow pigment ink to colour the tops of this texture to represent the changing colour of the bracken in the Autumn.

While the background was drying I drew and cut out 3 cows which I coloured with inktense pencils. I then set up a silhouette file to cut the bracken as I knew my patience would not extend to all the little fingers on the fronds. I was quite pleased with how this cut, despite a few tears, but care was required to remove the fronds from the cut sheet. You can download this silhouette file here: Bracken.studio3 file

I sprayed through lace onto the bracken fronds to achieve the mottled effect you often see at this time of year and stuck them to the page using pva glue in a masquepen bottle.

You can see a video of the process here: Bracken for Bedding on YouTube



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