I'll try to remember the entire process although I have had trouble in the past remembering each step. The process is quite forgiving though, so if a step is missed the results can still be pretty good.
First up is the gathering of the leaves. I like to use Australian native leaves such as gum leaves of different varieties, wattle leaves, banskias etc. I only ever gather the leaves that are on the ground as a result of a natural process or those leaves that the cockatoos have so thoughtfully pruned especially for me.
I fold the paper into concertinas and although this is not absolutely necessary but it probably does aid in keeping the papers together.
The next step is to arrange the leaves on the paper in whatever design you feel will make the best print.
Then, sandwich the paper with the leaves between two pieces of cardboard and tie together tightly with string.
You can make as many bundles as your steamer can allow or until you run out of leaves or paper or whatever comes first.
The next step in the process is to soak this bundle in a solution of vinegar and water. The solution I use is 2 cups of water to 2 tablespoons of vinegar. The bundles should be soaked for at least one hour, more if possible. I forgot to soak the bundles once and the middle of pages didn't get steamed. See the photo below. It gave a rather lovely skeleton photo but not quite what I was wanting.
It is of course very important to keep all this process separate to any cooking and not to use any utensils or containers for cooking afterward.
It is then left to steam for a couple of hours checking every so often to ensure that the water does not evaporate completely.
Now all you have to do is experiement with different methods, different solutions and different leaves.
Many thanks to Bev for introducing me to this exciting method of printing. Bev has recently had an article published in the June 2013 edition of Raised Bands, the newsletter of the Canberra Craft Bookbinders' Guild.