La Pluie Fantôme

La Pluie Fantôme by Heather Page, silk screen on aluminum-gilded paper on panel, 12 inches by 20.5 inches by 2 inches

Title: La Pluie Fantôme
Media: Silk screen on aluminum-gilded paper on panel
Size: 12”h x 20.5”w x 2”d
Edition: 1/1
detail | process | edition | story | related works

detail views


La Pluie Fantôme is an original silk screen print on aluminum-gilded mulberry paper on panel.

Gilding is the application of very thin sheets of metal (called leaf) to a surface.
For this piece, I glued aluminum leaf to mulberry paper using a special adhesive and then burnished it flat.
More information on gilding
We make silk screen prints by pushing ink through a stretched piece of mesh.
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 coat a screen with a photosensitive emulsion.
  • I then place a transparency—an opaque image on a transparent or translucent background—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 reverse of the image.
  • When I print, the ink can only pass through the washed-out image area, creating a print that looks just like the image.

More information on silk screen printing


This is a monoprint, which means that though I used silk screens to make La Pluie Fantôme, I improvised their placement and color, so it is a unique print.
More information on editions


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 and fungi spores.

La Pluie Fantôme, meaning phantom rain, is a French term for virga–the lines you see extending from the base of storm clouds that don’t touch the ground.
The green drips marching across this piece, along with its icy silvery background and brightly-colored lichen clusters make me think of a steady rain in early spring pattering over blooms just cracking through the vestiges of snow.