Con Brio

Con Brio by Heather Page, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 61.5 inches x 26 inches

Title: Con Brio
Media: Relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper reacted with patina
Size: 61.5”h x 26”w
Edition: 1/1
 
installation | process | edition | story | related works

Con Brio by Heather Page, detail image, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 61.5 inches x 26 inches

Title: Detail of Con Brio
Media: Relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper reacted with patina
Size: 61.5”h x 26”w
Edition: 1/1

installation views

Reverb 1 installation by Heather Page

Title: Reverb 1, front view
Media: Relief prints on copper-gilded mulberry papers

Reverb 1 installation by Heather Page

Title: Reverb 1, back view
Media: Relief prints on copper-gilded mulberry papers

process

Con Brio is a unique relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper in one color made from one hand-carved sheet of birch plywood.

 

Gilding is the application of very thin sheets of metal (called leaf) to a surface.
 
For this piece, I glued copper leaf to mulberry paper using a special adhesive and then burnished it flat.
 
More information on gilding
Con Brio by Heather Page, detail image, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 61.5 inches x 26 inchesWe make relief prints by rolling ink over the surface of an object, placing a piece of paper on top, and transferring the ink to the paper with pressure.
 
I printed Con Brio using a clear ink, which is the copper color you see in the print.
 
The blue color, most visible in the detail image of Con Brio, comes from spraying the exposed copper gilding with an ammonium chloride mix. The patina ate all the way through the thin metal in some areas, which is why you can see light through the print in the full print image.
 
I then stopped the reaction by sealing the entire print.
 
More information on relief printing

edition

This is a one-of-a-kind print, also known as a monoprint.

 
More information on editions

story

Con Brio, meaning with brilliance and fire, is one of two prints on copper gilding using the same woodblock.
Con Fuoco by Heather Page, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 60 inches x 26 inches
Con Fuoco
I see fire in the coppery color, reddish glow of the gilding, and the energetic marks of both prints.
I made those marks during a musical concert, and I hear the lively music when I look at the prints.
 
Inspired by the forest of symbols in Baudelaire’s Correspondences, I suspended my prints from the ceiling in groups much like I would arrange dancers on a stage.
 
La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
L’homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
Qui l’observent avec des regards familiers.
 
Nature is a temple where living colonnades
Sometimes let escape confused words;
Man passes among symbolic glades
Which observe him with familiar regards.
 
Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.
 
Like dwindling echoes gathered far away
Into a tenebrous and profound unison,
Vast as the night and as the day,
The scents, the colors, and the sounds meet as one.
 
Il est des parfums frais comme des chairs d’enfants,
Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
–Et d’autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,
 
There are odors as fresh as the skin of an infant,
Sweet as oboes, green as prairies,
–And others, corrupted, rich, and triumphant,
 
Ayant l’expansion des choses infinies,
Comme l’ambre, le musc, le benjoin, et l’encens,
Qui chantent les transports de l’esprit et des sens.
Having the expansion of infinite things,
Like amber, musk, benzoin, and frankincense,
Which sing the ecstasies of the soul and of the senses.
 
At the time, I was exploring how an environment could affect my art and those viewing it.
 
The gilded surfaces of the prints reflected each other and the ambient light in the exhibition space.
And the papers fluttered and danced with air currents in the space as well as the movements of passersby.
 
Thus both the prints and viewers engaged in a quiet call and response dance.
 
My hope was that taking a moment to play with art would spark a greater awareness in the participant’s surroundings—the sounds, the air currents, the smells, the colors, the light—which she or he would then carry beyond the exhibition space.