FRANCESCA SAMSEL'S visual representation is driven by the thrill of discovery. She is a collector of forms, texures, and patterns from nature and machinery. "I combine long walks with time in science or engineering libraries, looking for cross category correlations," she says. This ordered process of collecting - research, selection, sorting and documentation - is the foundation for her imagery.
"Scientists order the world by dividing it into categories - genus and species. I dig through the stacks in reference libraries, collecting the curious. Then I put them in a blender. Mix them up and reassemble them by different common factors - function, source, visual similarity or emotive quality." - F. Samsel
Her visual collection categorized, Samsel then begins a series of imagery referencing processes found in nature - Migration, Osmosis, Precipitation. As a printmaker, she works in an intaglio process called viscosity etching, mixing inks with varying amounts of oil and stiffening agents. The ink/oil mixtures are then rolled onto a copper plate that has been etched at several varying depths. The color range and organic quality is achieved by using a variety of soft and hard rollers which allow her to apply the inks on different levels etched into the plate. Depending on the additives in the inks, colors mix or repel. It is this property that allows the multi-colored prints to be made in a single pass through the press.
"The organic nature of the viscosity technique dovetails perfectly Francesca's chosen subject matter." notes Richard Madigan. "The blending of the layers of ink creates patterns and color, complexities and depth that mimic the complexities and patterns of nature."