Fern #1 Morell, Abelardo  (American, b.b.1948)

In seeking a unique way to make prints of invented imagery of ferns and water, I decided that photogravures provided the right partner to my cliché-verre pictures. Something about the way a copper etching holds and transfers ink to a beautiful paper makes for the perfect translation of an elegant process that begins in ink and ends with ink. Abe Morell

Cliché-verre is a method of picture reproduction devised in 1839 by Fox Talbot- the English inventor of photography. Later in the 1850’s, the French artists Corot, Millet, Daubigny and others used cliché-verre. The artists applied dark ink or soot from a candle to blacken glass sheets, which when dry, allowed them to scratch drawings on the glass surface. The hand-drawn image on the glass plate was then sandwiched with photographic printing paper and exposed to light in the darkroom in order to come up with a photograph of the drawing. This hybrid art form combines printmaking and photography in a delightful and inventive way. In my process, I applied black ink onto glass plates in order to draw and paint my designs. I also pressed ferns onto the still-liquid ink. In some cases, when the ink was dry, I photographed the glass plates with actual ferns resting on top of the ink to suggest other vegetative dimensions. When satisfied with the result, I scanned the glass negatives to create digital files, which in turn could be converted to allow for etching the image onto a copper plate.

Edition of 50 portfolios and five Artist’s Proofs. These images are available exclusively as photogravures. The photogravure plates were made by Paul Taylor and hand printed by Erin Sternfels on Rives BFK at Renaissance Press in Ashuelot, NH. Each portfolio contains five photogravures. Each photogravure is signed and numbered by the artist. [1]


[1] www.abelardomorell.net/recent/water-fern-ink cited 02/24/23