Printmaking at Green Olive Arts

Summer 2022 – Tetouan, Morocco

As we explored the living history of Acequias in the Rif, we collected plants that thrived along the networks of waterways and outcroppings in the area. Our studio time was focused on making impressions of these plants on the press provided by Green Olive Arts. Instead of making individual plates, we placed a piece of plexiglass atop the press bed, on which we inked directly before arranging plant material then paper.

Plants are laid out on freshly inked plexiglass
Desiccation brings out the details of a plant’s structure
So that the dried plants don’t disintegrate when run through the press, spray them with water to moisten them.
The yellow coloration in the background of this print was created through an anthotype process using turmeric. Anthotypes are an alternative photographic process that exposes the chlorophyll in plants to sunlight to make ephemeral light impressions.
Printmaking with plants
When the plant material is run through the press, it picks up ink from the plate. Dual colors may be achieved by simply changing the background color and flipping the inked plants over then running them through a second time. The inks provided by Green Olive are water based, so are transferred to the moistened paper.
Thatcher Gray arranges a plant composition in the Green Olive studio. It is important to make sure the plant material is not too rigid so as not to damage the press.