Printmaker Karen Gearhart-Jensen’s first grape leaf pressing was of Grenache Blanc leaves in April 2014, followed by this exploration of Roussanne much later in the growing season.
The August batch had been dealing with sun, dust, birds, insects, and wind, making the leaves hanging close to the precious fruit tough and resilient – they took their job seriously. I could print them many times with hardly any liquid escaping. The leaf took on a supple leather-like feel, the result of ink and pressure. The edges were sharper and sometimes folded, rips here and there, and dried spots from who knows what.
Printing a leaf allows me to take an intimate look at a living thing by revealing its elegant structure and tiny details in ink. I suppose this project was my way of participating in the cycle of the grape and it’s protector, from bud-break to my glass, adding another layer of appreciation.