La Brume is a one-of-a-kind silk screen, relief print and rubbing on copper-gilded mulberry paper on panel.
For this piece, I glued copper leaf to mulberry paper using a special adhesive and then burnished it flat.
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Instead of inking my wood block, I dampened my gilded paper, placed it face-up on a freshly laser-engraved block, and ran it through an etching press. The press transferred the charred wood to the paper, leaving a physical texture as well as the color and smell of the burn on the back of the paper.
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I then glued the print face-down on a panel. White lines from the rubbing show through the thin paper, as does the glow of the copper gilding.
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Images are made by blocking out parts of the mesh. We call this a stencil. There are all sorts of ways to make stencils. For this piece, I used photographic stencils.
To make a photographic stencil:
- I coated a screen with a photosensitive emulsion and let it dry in the dark.
- I then placed a transparency—an opaque image on a transparent background—on the screen and exposed the two to light.
- Next, I washed out the screen with water. Any part of the screen that was covered by the opaque image washed away, leaving a thin stencil that was the inverse of the image. So, the transparent background in the transparency became a green coating on the screen and the image became open–or uncovered–mesh.
- When I squeegeed ink through the screen, it could only pass through the washed-out image area, creating a print that looked just like the image.
More information on silk screen printing
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, mold, and fungi spores.
La Brume means mist in French.
The blue lichens and translucent yellow mold make me think of mist rising off a lake, with the brown of a forest in the background.
I come from a place rife with lakes and ponds that reminded me of their presence with the comings and goings of birds and the mists and fogs that rose from their surfaces.
Those mists always arrived at transitional times—in the morning, when the birds were just starting to sing, or in the evening, when the animals were just starting to emerge from their daytime hiding places. Thus I associate them with change and a quiet sort of vitality.