It all started in the back of a pickup truck. John Robert Craft had plans for some steel plates cut 10" x 10" and 12" x 12". He spent a year with the plates sliding around in the back of his hard working flatbed ranch truck. He knew the plates would build up an interesting surface that would bring history to the images he had planned and regularly checked to see how the degradation was progressing.
In June, 2017 Craft arranged sculptural elements on the plates and with Katherine Brimberry's help, etched the silhouette of the sculptures' configurations deeply into the steel.
Craft brought the plates to Flatbed Press and working with Annalise Gratovich, experimented using commercial Hanco inks in the process colors: "C" (Cyn), "M" (Magenta) and "Y" (Yellow.) Steel is a very hard surface and when etched is beautifully rough and ideal for holding ink. Craft's plates yielded deeply embossed prints with well saturated color. Gratovich and Craft discovered that the steel plates yieldied exceptionally vibrant colors because the steel plates didn't oxidize or darken the ink.
Craft methodically proofed the plates with the C, M and Y inks coming up with prints with all the possible combinations of these inks. He chose to print onto 640 GSM Lanaquarelle hot press watercolor paper that perfectly captured the deep relief embossment of the plates. The resulting prints are vibrant and tactile.
The proofing process gave birth to three suites editioned by Craft and Gratovich. Craft designed a wooden box for each suite that would hold the cast and fabricated sculpture that mirrors the image on each print. Each of the three suites has its own box and Craft engraved the title and sculpture's configuration into the lid. Each suite's box is stained with either C, M or Y pigment. The suites are titled: CMY 5 Point Expanded, CMY 5 Point Collapsed and CMY 4 Point. Each holds Craft's sculpture and four prints: CM, YC, YM and YMC along with a letterpress colphon printed by Max Koch.
These are available as boxed sets of four prints in each box that includes a cast iron sculpture that is fabricated from cast iron components configured to match the silhouette in the prints. See details of each through these links.