My first Irish anthotype

Posted by ofay on August 6, 2015 in Art |No Comments

Irish Heather – collected plant matter in Carna, Connemarra, Co. Galway, Ireland August 2015

Of all the flowers in Ireland, of all the flowers in Conemarra, of all the flowers growing in the boglands, I chose the magenta heather. It’s Irish name is fraoch mór and it is also known as ling. Years ago when I asked my grandmother if she was Chinese because her maiden name was Ling, she said no, Ling is a flower that grows in Scotland.

I have only made this link between my Ling ancestors and this Ling flower today as I research the flower I used for my first Irish anthotypes. Three pictures are developing in the sun at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Country Monaghan, across the other side of the country from where I collected them.

I made these anthotypes with about 8 tablespoons of freshly picked Ling petals, a splash of Poitín (put-cheen Irish moonshine) a pinch of bi-carb of soda at my friend Kellie’s house in Carna.


  1. Pound the petals for a good while
  2. Add the Poitín
  3. A pinch of bi-carb
  4. The mixture should turn a dark inky green
  5. Squeeze it through linen or a tea towel
  6. Coat watercolour paper (mine was purchased by Kellie’s mother in law Maureen de Brun up the road in Clifden)
  7. Put the paper out of the light and let it dry
  8. Arrange the paper into the base of a clip lock frame with Ling flowers on top
  9. Clip it all together and put it in the sun
  10. Wait and watch 1 day, 2 days, 1 week, 2 weeks?

There has not been a lot of sun in this Irish winter. We made the pictures on Saturday 1st August and they have not had a full day of sun since then. The reward of practicing patience? Patience.


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