A comment on family photos--mine and others--was a reminder that it had been too long since my last visit to Marja-Leena Rathje. She described finding leaves pressed in a book, showed how sharply they scanned--once she decided to save them. The post title, "3D Scanning Techniques," did not do justice to the images produced.
She had come upon the idea of saving these objects by scanning them and discovered that leaving the lid of the scanner open produced a black background. Commenters visiting wanted details on the type of scanner, dpi number.
Photocopying machines had been around for a while and small printing companies began to offer that as an alternative to letterpress. The idea of using a photocopier was appealing. Perhaps it evolved from my having a black and white copier in my home, wanted to try color.
There were no scanners, so I had to take my pieces and drive somewhere. Well, you had to drive everywhere anyway. It began as a simple notion of creating a different image of the work. I added fabric backgrounds, as in the picture at the top. Next clear plastic sheets or plastic wrap, used to protect the glass, gained their own reflective place, weathered shells (the focus of the neckpieces), even hair.
While a member of Resurgam (now defunct), a co-op gallery in Federal Hill, a waterfront neighborhood, I met Jimmie Miller, longtime artist in many media. It was a hospitable place for me to get started, be in a couple of group shows. Jimmie and I decided to have a show together on our own.
Fractals was the name he gave his large, intricate mixed-media pieces--oil, pastel. "What was a fractal?" I asked. A generous and patient man, he explained the idea of "geometry of the rough..making order of disparate things."
It occurred to me that my color-copying had a similar sensibility and name them "Xractals" to describe this electronic print-making. Since Xerox was the predominant copy machine at the time, that's the source of the "X" in my invented name. Vintage stores were filled with used frames, Ron made mats, and I included several in our show, "Fractals & Ceremonial Neckpieces."
Already frail then, Jimmie Miller died at 71, three years ago. Too soon.