Janet and Emma are both printmakers who have been working together to create a unique series of etchings of trees printed onto paper which they have made from the tree’s own leaves.
Each ‘Tree Portrait’ is a separate project starting with a search for the ‘ideal’ specimen. Once the tree has been chosen, the leaves must be collected and processed using both traditional papermaking methods and techniques developed for the project. The processed leaves are then pressed into sheets of delicate paper. The leaves of each type of tree behave quite differently so there can be no definitive method for this process. At the same time, an etching of the tree will be prepared and trialled. This has to be made on a steel plate because of the pressure necessary to achieve a detailed image on the textured leaf paper. The image is then printed using an etching press, while the paper is still damp.
Emma and Janet have been working together on this project since 2010. Their work has been selected for major exhibitions and they also often demonstrate and talk about their working process.