Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Document & Reproduction: "Pemberley"

The document print is the original print on which a reproduction is based. I based the "Pemberley" reproduction print in my Hartfield collection for Moda on a well-washed old curtain I bought in an antique store.

It's hard to know the age of the original (at top in the photo). I don't know if the greens in the leaves had faded or they were never there. It may be from the late -19th century, but if it is it looks like a copy of a late-18th-century print. With its pinks and purples, so popular in English quilts at the time, I thought it looked very much like a print typical of Jane Austen's youth.
I added some pin dots to the background, adding what was called a fancy ground, although not too fancy. I was copying a style popular in late-18th-century wood-block prints. I wanted the floral bouquets to look as if they were printed by woodblock with metal pins or wires inserted in the wood to give some texture to the ground. That background pin dot was called picotage. Today we print with screens rather than woodblocks but the reproduction has the feel of an old wood-block print.

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