Marta Mouka is a textile artist who creates collages using a unique approach to needle felting. She works with woven silk, often contact-printed with plant material, to make finished textiles with a smooth texture and soft-focus colour transitions. She experiments with centuries-old techniques of dyeing with natural dyes and combines them with the more contemporary method of botanical monoprinting.
Marta studied graphic design and visual arts at the College of Applied Arts in Brno, Czech Republic. She ran a graphic design studio in Toronto for 14 years, specializing in magazine art direction. Her extensive graphic design experience brings a strong sense of composition to her work.
Marta has been creating art for over 30 years. Since 2008 she has been a full-time textile artist, living and working in Tweed, Ontario. She has held solo shows and participated in juried group exhibitions, and she has received a number of awards. Her art is held in private collections across Canada.
Here she describes the eco-printing process.
Eco-printing or contact printing is a fascinating process of creating botanical mono prints.
Dyeing and printing fabrics with native plants is a relatively new technique which builds on
The contact printing method draws out pigments from plants and makes imprints on cellulose
or protein fibres. Textiles have to be prepared or mordanted with naturally occurring metal salts,
to be able to receive pigments from plants and to assure lightfastness.
Plant material is positioned on textiles, bundled by rolling over a wooden dowel or metal rod,
secured tightly with twine and then steamed or boiled in hot water to extract the pigment and produce
a botanical print.
Leaves, stems, flowers, buds, roots, and bark are used in combination with
traditional plant extract dye-baths to create the final artwork.