This original etching by Jerry Di Falco employed the printmaking techniques of intaglio, drypoint, and Chine collé. Media included Charbonnel brand ink—oil base from Paris—RivesBFK white printmaking paper made in France, and Thai mulberry bark paper treated with methylcellulose and infused with Japanese kozo threads. The zinc plate required three baths in Nitric acid and measured 7 inches high by five inches wide 17.78cm by 12.70cm , which is also the image size. The paper measures slightly less than 11 inches high by 10 inches wide 27.94cm by 25.40cm. The print comes in an archival mat and frame that measures 14 inches high by 11 inches wide 35.56cm by 27.94cm. The work was printed on an industrial Charles Brand press and published at The Center for Works on Paper, a part of the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This work is based on original drawings by the artist, which was inspired by a 1960 photograph by his mother taken at Batsto Village in the pine barrens of southern New Jersey. As a child, the artist pronounced Batsto as Batso, which accounts for the title’s spelling. Batsto dates back to the mid-sixteenth century and was noted for its iron ore, sawmill, glass blowing, and architecture. One can visit the site virtually via webcams at https: batstovillage. org batsto-live-cameras
The area is filled with local folklore, including stories about The Jersey Devil. Escaped African American slaves took refuge near here in stops of the Underground Railroad.
This print is from the FIRST EDITION of FOUR EDITIONS Each edition is limited to only five etchings and executed in a different ink color and paper combination.
Notes on the Chine Collé Process—Chine Collé translates from French as Chinese pasting and is a process in which dyed and treated paper is attached to the etching plate before the printing press action begins. Di Falco mixes Methylcellulose powder with spring water and then paints the resulting clear viscous substance onto hand-dyed mulberry-bark paper from Thailand. In Japan, Unryu translates as CLOUD DRAGON paper because it has long swirling threads of kozo fibers integrated in it, thereby giving the texture and visual effect of clouds. Kozo fibers come the branches of the kozo bush, specifically the innermost of three layers of bark, which must be removed, cooked, and beaten before the sheets are formed. Kozo is harvested annually. The treated Thai paper is then allowed to dry overnight and I cut it to fit the plate areas where I want color to exist in the print. These stenciled mulberry-bark papers are first dampened or misted with water and placed upon the already inked and wiped etching plate. The printing process continues, and creates a multi-colored image on paper.
New Jersey, Sawmill, Batsto Village, History, Intaglio, Original Printmaking, Americana Printmaking