Emma Buckmaster has a MA in Printmaking from the Cambridge School of Art and Janet French has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art from Colchester School of Art. They met at Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop and have been working together for the last ten years.
They both live in East Anglia and share a deep love of the countryside, particularly trees. They have been working on a series of etchings of native tree species printed on to paper made from the trees’ own leaves, adding further trees to the collection each year. It is a continuous process of experimentation and learning. Each new tree requires at least a year of tests and trials to make the leaf paper and the etching plate. Some tree types such as Holly – ‘Ilex aquifolium’, which took four years to develop, are particularly challenging.
Interest in the work comes from many different sources. Resurgence and the Ecologist have written about the Tree Portraits and in 2017 they were highlighted in the Financial Times ‘How to Spend It’. Emma and Janet are members of the Arborealists and the Printmakers Council. They have been shown three times at the RA Summer Exhibition and are now held in public and private collections worldwide.