Thesis Title

More Than Cornfields

Major Department

Art, Studio


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2019

Honors Major Advisor

Lynne Lanning

Thesis Mentor

Anita Jung


When I started this project, I knew I wanted to use images of nature as my subject matter. Shortly after I made this decision, I realized that when people talk about all of the beautiful natural places one can go visit, rarely will you hear anywhere in Iowa on that list. We are often seen as little more than a flyover state: nothing to see here. As part of my work, I wanted to show the variety of interesting and unique landscapes that can be found in my home state, by using photographic silkscreen printing as well as foil printing. Through the creation of these images, I was able to investigate the best methods for combining these two printing mediums.

Iowa is home to 72 state parks, several state forests and preserves, and one national monument. In my research, I took photos at three parks; Yellow River, Macbride, and Maquoketa Caves. High resolution photos are necessary to translate all of the details of an image from a digital file into a silkscreen print. These images are then separated into color channels, which can then be replicated using corresponding inks. These are then printed, and the designs are transferred onto the screen using a light-sensitive emulsion. I also wanted to add more interest to these works by incorporating foil. I thought that including hints of metallic foil to these images would be a great way to highlight the natural beauty of the scenes. Originally, I attempted to mix the foil adhesive with the silkscreen ink, and adhere the foil directly to that color. Unfortunately, the foil was too delicate and would not adhere to small details with any consistently. My solution was to start with a flat area of foil, the same size as my image, and then print the inverted layer in white over it. This left me with the foil showing through in the same pattern of the original layer.

Using silkscreen to make these images gives a more personal connection between me and my work. If I had merely taken these photos and had them printed at the store, I would have had far less involvement as an artist in the image making process. The repetitive, methodical process of creating a print layer by layer is one that I find almost meditative, and that is part of why I enjoy the medium so much. I think this is a project I could take much further, as it is something I got a lot of enjoyment from. I would like to be able to find more ways to connect the natural element into the final work, such as creating my own pigments for printing from local harvested plants and other organic material.


Iowa, silkscreen, foil, printmaking, prints, photographs

Total Pages

6 images in 1 zipped file


Copyright © 2019 Kate Edwards

Included in

Printmaking Commons