Con Fuoco

Con Fuoco by Heather Page, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 60 inches x 26 inches

Title: Con Fuoco
Media: Relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper reacted with acid gas
Size: 60”h x 26”w
Edition: 1/1
 
installation | process | edition | story | related works

Con Fuoco by Heather Page, detail image, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 60 inches x 26 inches

Title: Detail of Con Fuoco
Media: Relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper reacted with acid gas
Size: 60”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 Fuoco 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 Fuoco by Heather Page, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 60 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 Fuoco using a clear ink, which is the lighter copper color you see in the print.
 
The darker copper color comes from hanging the print in the acid room in the University of Wisconsin-Madison etching studio. An acid room is a space, usually outfitted with ventilation hoods, where we place the trays of acid we use to etch our plates. The acid gases reacted with the exposed copper on the paper, turning it a darker color.
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 Fuoco meaning with fire, is one of two prints on copper gilding using the same woodblock.
Con Brio by Heather Page, wood relief print on copper-gilded mulberry paper, 61.5 inches x 26 inches
Con Brio
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.