Bracken for Bedding.

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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