I've been playing around with the use of leaves for years as both a glass artist and a photographer. We love the concept behind the glass leaf series so much, we wanted to apply it to screen printing, too.

Whether it's for a tee or for a glass vessel, the first step in the process is finding the right leaf. I'll either take it home and dry it nice and straight, usually between the pages of a heavy book, so that it can be scanned. Or, if I've got my camera with me, I'll take macro photos to capture all the leaf's delicate lines and veins. 

macro image of green leaves

Image of a decaying leaf

Next, the images are digitally edited to be completely black and white and altered to enhance the contrast. For the glass work, the images are printed out onto photo resists that are used to transfer the image onto the surface of the pieces. 

  image of leaf overlay with glass tumbler

The photo resists are wrapped around the vessel and sandblasted, which creates a slightly raised, textured surface image the preserves the lines in gorgeous detail.  


Glass vessels with sandblasted leaf detail by Nick Chase

When it comes to screen printing on fabric, the process is the same up until the print out point. To get an image that I can use on a silkscreen, I print black and white transparencies that I then expose onto silkscreens. The final steps are pulling the print onto the shirt fabric and curing the ink. For these tees, it's really important that our ink be the right consistency so that all the tiny details come through in the final print. 

Black and white maple leaves on a silkscreen transparency

Women's shirt with transparency of leaves against it


We aren't done experimenting with different kinds of leaves just yet! Growing our Flora line (pun intended) is one of the things that we hope to be able to work on at some point this year!

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