It has been a blast working out the many aspects of this project. Here are some more specific notes as to what I am doing.

Substrate: each of these prints are of archival pigment ink over a custom crackled or hand gilded panel created from scratch in my studio. Based on a sheet of hybrid fiberglass, the panels are primed, top coated with a white base then double primed again with an acrylic layer which will receive one to two layers of ink receptive precoat, depending on the desired look. It's a lot of work and not my favorite part of the process.

After custom printing onto this receptive coating, the final panel is double coated with a special solvent based UV lacquer topcoat. The final print does not require glass, is easily cleanable, very archival and not highly reflective.

GILDING: With some of these, the panel just described is hand gilded with either composition gold, silver or real copper leaf. That layer is then sealed with solvent based lacquer before application of the inkjet receptive precoat layers.

PATINATED METALS: I am currently working with copper, brass and mild steel. Once I have my design completed (I work in Illustrator) the patterns are printed out on a special silk screen film. Meanwhile, the metal is super cleaned then laminated under a UV safe yellow light with a special film used in the etching/printing industry. Sandwiched with the design on the silkscreen film, the metal is then exposed using a high UV light source (I use blacklights) for a very specific time then put into a chemical bath where the non-exposed aspects of the film are washed away, leaving only the design.

After additional UV exposure for hardening, the metal is immersed upside down in chemical bath with the chemistry depending on the metal. The mordant (etchant) eats away everything not protected by the exposed film, leaving the raised design.

The metal goes through another serious cleaning cycle and is ready for patina which is, in my experience, a combination of chemistry and serious Voodoo (the pros in this area are amazing). With a wild array of chemicals, combinations of heat, cold or immersion, I work out a custom look and color palette designed to fit the pigment ink panel in question.

The final result is neutralized, double lacquered and assembled into the final composition.

ORNAMENTATION: This is wide open as there are so many cool goodies with which to play: semi-precious gems, crystals, a myriad of hardware choices, chains, glass, beads, castings and so on. I've found a gentle touch is in order when using them; it's easy to visually overload a piece and distract from its overall intent.

FRAMING: For some pieces I am making the frames from scratch; for most I am incorporating frames and fillets from the incredible array commercially available. I assemble everything myself in the studio.