Les Amas Nuageux
Les Amas Nuageux is a one-of-a-kind woodburned silk screen and relief print with collage and painting on silver-gilded mulberry paper on panel.
Les Amas Nuageux is built of strata of different media:
The print I used to create the background in this piece came from my Reverb Series.
Like the other prints in the series, I first gilded a sheet of mulberry paper with silver leaf.
I then printed a relief print on the silver paper with clear ink and then hung it in a gallery installation to let it react to the air.
Within a short time, the unsealed silver tarnished and turned the brassy gold you see in the image to the left. Before the print could turn black, I sealed the entire print to stop the tarnishing process.
More information on gilding
More information on relief printing
Images are made by blocking out parts of the mesh. We call this a stencil. For this print, I used photographic stencils, which you can see on the image to the left.
To make a photographic stencil:
- I coat a screen with a photosensitive emulsion and let it dry in the dark.
- I then place a transparency—an opaque image on a transparent background like the one on the left—on the screen and expose the two to light.
- Next, I wash out the screen with water. Any part of the screen that was covered by the opaque image washes away, leaving a thin stencil that is the inverse of the image. So, the transparent background in the transparency is now a green coating on the screen and the black image is now open–or uncovered–mesh.
- When I squeegee ink through the screen, it can only pass through the washed-out image area, creating a print that looks just like the image.
More information on silk screen printing
The images are a mix of photographs of lichens that I’ve taken on my hikes in the Rocky Mountains and drawings I’ve made, usually during musical performances.
The tip of the tool is interchangeable and comes in a variety of shapes, which make a range of different marks.
More information on woodburning
The Parlour Games Series is about testing the limits of what is acceptable in art we bring into our homes with color, with the degree of chaos in design, and with the subject matter–lichens.
Les Amas Nuageux means heap of clouds in French.
The puffy cloud shapes of the lichens and drawings in this piece make me think of cumulus clouds multiplying in the sky before a storm on a hot summer day.