Island Designs

“We draw a design, then transfer it to 1/4” high brass or magnesium plates. Using self-made chisels, we carve the design into the metal plate in reverse, 3 dimensionally, to make a “die”. We cast fiberglass into the die to form the opposite image (“counter”) then mill background areas of the metal die down to 1/8″. The metal die is attached to a heat plate with it’s counter opposite on the platen of our converted 1929 letterpress. We heat the die and press cover paper between it and the counter. We color the paper using roll leaf-a flexible sheet with colored wax applied to 1 side-placed with wax side against the paper. As the press closes, heat melts the wax and transfers color. Designs with several colors must be registered and pressed with multiple dies. Watercolor, air brush, brush pen,colored pencil and pastel are added on some pieces. We do all matting and framing in-studio. For copper sheets, we use the same process. Copper is flame painted using torch with varying flame length.
In 2022 we had a show at MCA Portland. We are part owners of Island Artisans in Bar Harbor.


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