The etched screen for the bespoke, 69 meter, super yacht was the initial commission I received from the interior design company. It is comprised of 104, 218mm x 105mm copper panels, etched, patinated, and pigmented on both sides. With exactly 30mm between each panel, they are designed to hang rigidly in a curved formation with twined S hooks in between. Once discussions got underway for this project, they approached me about doing the pocket doors for the media room screen, which I chose to execute in Eastern repousse.
Once I had completed the samples back in 2016, the yacht’s owner-to-be had two requests: that I keep as much of the “pulled” edges (photos below) of the etching process as possible, and that the white pigment and finish have a very hand created feel. The challenges of these requests lay in keeping the look and consistency of these qualities on each panel. My assistants Deanna Pastel and Uduak Ita, along with considerable additional help from my son Skyler, worked on different stages of the project with me as the common denominator and arbiter of consistency.
The chaos of the studio went on for 5 months, once both projects finally got completely underway. De and I managed the etching baths, while taking very brief breaks from hammering on the Turtle Screens. I did all the panel prepping, punching, and cleaning. For the first side of the first 52 panels, I did the design transferring and inking but was thrilled when Uduak was able to learn my processes quickly and take over these steps in her usual “magic wand,” stellar fashion. Uduak’s postponing her digital work for me and going “analog” on the Etched Screen gave us an additional 7 hours/day of work time, making it possible to ship in time for the screen to be installed for the yacht’s launch party. De spent most of the summer covered in ferric chloride stains (gloves don’t prevent splashing!) and going above and beyond what I could have ever expected in time and dedication. Sadly, there are no photos of De working on this project since most of our time together on it involved us both being up to our elbows with phones in pockets.
I was supposed to have 8 months to complete both projects, which would have been a race no matter what. Crunching everything into 5 months, as the shipyard delayed the start and then moved up the deadline by 2 months, was not an adventure I ever care to repeat…ever…for any amount of money.
I can only imagine how the burgundy and blue hues of the patina glow with the sunset reflected off the water (scroll down). Below are the last complete photos until (or if) the yacht’s owner releases images of the yacht’s interior. Since I wasn’t present for the installation, I don’t get to see either project in place. Still, these were amazing projects to create!
Patination of 104 copper panels for the Etched Screen…Watching that color appear is like magic, and, like magic, too long in the solution, and the whole patina turns into a charcoal gray, flakey mess, requiring we strip the color and redo it. (Yeah, right, no pressure there.)
Uduak, my studio assistant begins the long tedious job of polishing the patina off the raised areas of the Etched Screen’s 104 copper panels for the superyacht’s main saloon, room divider. Total time over 45 minutes per side per panel with her on round #1 and me on round #2 after the pigment went on.