About Peta Bailey

I have been a maker for as long as I can remember -- knitter, quilter, stitcher, print maker, sketcher, baker, book binder – and have always loved books and plants. I ecoprint paper with leaves and flowers and create unique handbound journals and sketchbook.

Ecoprinting was originated  by India Flint in Australia. It is the process of transfering colour from the pigments in leaves, flowers, berries, roots and bark onto cloth, paper, clay, wood, stone and even leather.   The resulting prints depend on the combination and composition of plant materials, the season, the type of paper or cloth and the mordants, or fixatives, used.

I first learned about ecoprinting from Maggie Vanderweit at a Fibreworks Kingston workshop. Wendy Feldberg’s work and informative blog, Threadborne, inspired me and taught me even more. A workshop with  Marta Mouka’s in June 2018 showed me how much I still have to learn.

Mixed media abstract artist Holly Dean introduced me to Coptic binding at another Fibreworks Kingston workshop. Ksenia Kopystyńska, owner of Ars Libri, a bookbinding and book restoration studio on Brock Street in Kingston, taught me the beautiful braided version I use for my handmade books.

I love the seasonal and geographic nature of creating my books. I print and dye during the summer and fall using local leaves, flowers and berries. The cold, grey days of winter lend themselves to the meditative process of paper folding and binding. Each book has its own sense of place for me: I remember where I gathered the flowers and leaves that left their unique impressions.

I treasure the connections I have made with other makers. The community of friends I have met through stitching, book binding and sketching makes my life so much brighter and richer.