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The Shape of Things to Come

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$50

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In July of 2021 I visited the area around Detroit Lake in the central Oregon Cascades that burned in the catastrophic fires of 2020. The devastation was overwhelming and the mortality rate nearly total; the trees were cinders from horizon to horizon, and the forest, while still present, was eerily transparent- in the absence of all foliage you could see through it in every direction, to the brown and scorched raw dirt beneath. I gathered a sack of charcoal scraped from the trunks of several large dead old-growth trees and brought it home with me.

In mid December, I ground and milled and sifted the charcoal at home, using a mortar and pestle and a small, low-mesh-count silkscreen to filter the powder to its finest possible state. Then I mixed several small portions of it with transparent relief printing ink and used those inks to print this reduction block on a Vandercook 3 letterpress.

I have a lot of ideas about fire, about smoke, about clouds, about seeing through a forest and being unable to, about what we are going to be breathing next year, and the year after that and the year after that. This print is a prototype for that work.


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