BUCKMASTER and FRENCH
Emma Buckmaster and Janet French, born in 1957 and 1955 respectively, are both printmakers with a shared passion for trees. Janet French gained a BA (Hons) Fine Art at Colchester School of Art and Emma received an MA in Printmaking at the Cambridge School of Art. They formed a collaboration and have together created a unique series of etchings of British Trees printed onto paper made from the trees’ own leaves. The project started with a small image of an oak tree and has progressed to include beech, lime, silver birch, white poplar, hawthorn, ash, alder, and holly.
Each Tree Portrait is a separate project starting with a search for the ‘ideal’ specimen. These are collected in the Autumn and after a prolonged process of soaking and boiling, delicate sheets of paper are created using only the natural constituents of the leaves to bind them together. Whilst the paper is still damp, the etched image is printed onto the leaves from a steel plate using a traditional etching press.
Emma and Janet jointly chaired Gainsborough's House Printmakers for three years and are also members of The Arborealists Artist’s Group and the Printmakers Council. Their story was featured in the BBC2 documentary about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2016 where two of their prints sold in very high quantities