Maine Craft Portland

Wildlife Impressions on Paper and Copper

The Works of Chong & Judi Lim

June 3 – July 24, 2021

Island Designs
With a passion for color, this is a show of gorgeous light play, collaborative composition and texture. Chong and Judi Lim of Island Designs have worked together for 43 years and currently reside in Scarborough, ME. Come see the beautiful portraits of Maine’s nature embossed in flame-patina painted copper, watercolor on paper and keepsake items.

Chong came to Minnesota from South Korea at the age of 13. He earned a BFA in Printmaking and Painting from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Judi received a BA from Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota where she studied painting. The started Island Designs on Great Cranberry Island in Maine in 1978, later moving to Bar Harbor, then Scarborough.

The Process
The embossing process begins with Chong’s original drawing transferred to a 1/4″ thick metal plate, called a “die”. Using self-made chisels and engraving tools, he carves the design in reverse into the plate. He uses this to cast a fiberglass counter image. He then mills the background areas of the metal plate to 1/8″ using a free hand milling machine. Judi then attaches the die and counter image to their 1929 modified platen press. The metal plate is healed at 200 to 400 degrees. The paper of copper sheets are pressed between plate and counter. The piece may be embossed multiple times to achieve the desired result. Color is added to paper via watercolor paint, colored pencils, and brush pens. Color is added to copper using patina, torch and oil pastels.