It all started in the back of a pickup truck. John Robert Craft had plans for some steel plates cut 8" x 8" 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 he arranged sculptural elements on the plates and with Katherine Brimberry's help, etched the silhouette of the sculptures' configurations deeply into the steel.
Steel is a very hard surface with when etched is beautifully rough and ideal for holding ink deeply in its etched areas. Craft brought the plates to Flatbed Press and working with Annalise Gratovich, experimented with using unmixed commerical inks: "C" (Cyn), "M" (Magenta) and "Y" (Yellow.) What Gratovich and Craft discovered is that the steel plates were also ideal for the commercial colors and didn't oxidize or darken the ink when printed.
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 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 Contracted 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.