As part of our series of short films for Postcards from the Plot, our project which aims to explore the meaning and importance of allotments, artist Carolyn Morton introduces the process of botanical ink making on her Birmingham allotment plot.

The first video guides us around Carolyn’s allotment, aptly named The Fugitive Wild Plot. This is a rich source of natural materials for her botanical inks and it has a wonderful shed for ink making. On her plot, which is unusual for being surrounded by hedges, Carolyn balances cultivating crops for herself with diverse wild planting which supports the wildlife. It is a large, varied plot and an inspiration to explore with her through this short film.

Taking inspiration from some of the plants included in Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris’ “The Lost Words”, in her second film Carolyn demonstrates techniques to make inks from plants in a tutorial from her allotment. In the video she talks us through the process of creating an autumn squished ink, heated ink and solar extraction. We learn about what to consider when selecting plants to make inks, how to preserve them, why rainwater is important and so much more in this fascinating tutorial.

Watch the short films discussed in this blog post below:

Thank you to Carolyn for creating these wonderful films and to filmmaker Rachel Gillies for the final edit.

Postcards from the Plot is a project that has been made possible thanks to emergency funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery Players. We are using the funding to help us reimagine out programme during a time of social distancing.

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