Erika Blumenfeld served as the Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist for spring 2021. Due to the unique situation caused by the global pandemic, hers was the first ever remote residency, taking place over Zoom over the course of the entire spring semester. In the fall of 2021, Erika was able to come to St. Louis and work together with us on her project.
Using cyanotype, gold leaf, and intaglio processes, Erika’s project explores the markings made on glass photographic plates by the Harvard computers - a team of women working to process astronomical data at the Harvard Observatory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
detail view of Plate No. a12855 (Large Magellanic Cloud) - intaglio with 24k gold leaf on cyanotype chine collé.
Erika’s residency began during COVID - Island Press’ first ever remote residency - by Zoom. Success!
Preparing the cyanotype paper.
Student assistants carry the paper coated with cyanotype chemical outside to expose in the sun.
Tom Reed, master printer, hand wiping the laser-engraved acrylic intaglio plates. Photography by Jake Eshelman
Erika was able to come to St. Louis to work on the project after working with us remotely for 6 months. Here, she is hand wiping one of the plates.
Four shades of gorgeous cyanotype blue comprise the chine collé paper.
Erika and Tom developing the cyanotypes in water. Photography by Jake Eshelman
Erika applying 24 karat gold leaf to the prints. Photography by Jake Eshelman
Editions from this project