A detail of the ash image, printed on the flax paper.
Is a limited edition letterpress printed broadside featuring handmade paper fashioned from locally grown flax and a photograph using ash from big blue stem, an indigenous prairie grass. This is a detail image of the print.
First Body(ies) is a digital book about the creation of the broadside using locally produced/gathered materials from central Minnesota. The book and print are a collaboration between SK Murphy and Sienna D Kuhn. Click here for a PDF version of the book.
The print began with growing flax, a fibrous plant that can be used to make paper and fabric.
The flax is gathering in "stooks" to air dry.
The flax was cooked, cut up and beaten in a "hollander beater" to create a pulp. Here sheets are being formed with a mould and deckle.
The finished stack of about 80 sheets of locally grown and handmade flax paper.
Big Blue Stem prairie grass is being burned to create an ash. This ash will serve as the basis of the photographic dichromate printmaking process.
The finished print, with a poem by Mark Conway. The print edition was distributed to all who assisted the project. Not for sale