To read descriptions on how prints are made is generally hopelessly boring to all but the most curious technicians, and in most cases the same should be said about writing them.
But the creation of Ice Out presented conceptual challenges that dictated new and unfamiliar technical means: how to depict the gradual melting of the ice-covered Walden across a small series of images that would bring the viewer from the crystalline chill of the frozen surface to the verdant expanse of spring’s eventual triumph; how to depict data which records a process so un-visual as comparisons of wind speed and direction; and how to present both expansive tone and color with the minutiae of this data in a balanced, harmonious, and equally engaging manner. This makes at least the task of writing about technique far more engaging.
Soaring prices of copper combined with the necessity to work large (lest the data remain illegible) ruled out traditional etching techniques, and it became apparent that some unconventional methods must be brought into play. Experiments with Min-Wax©, various glues and acrylic mediums, sand and salt, used on matrices of simple cardboard sheets led very gradually to the resulting collograph plates which describe the icy surface in the first three prints, as well as the guerrilla engraving technique used for the rough, dark blue “old” data. Tried and truer mediums, both old (woodcut) and new (digital printing) helped round out images wherein minute detail and large, broad areas of color and texture are important in equal parts. The resulting “hybrid” prints run the technical gamut from traditional to contemporary to (at least for this printer) wholly experimental.
What follows is the series in its entirety. Each print measures 15.5 x 26″ and is printed on Stonehenge White. The first two utilize the Min-wax collograph technique; the last two utilize woodcut; and the middle print utilizes both techniques.