Homegrown: organic materials
The artist and his work
Copyright © 2007 Hummingbird World Media/Double Edge Press All Rights Reserved.
A native West Virginian and father of
three, Russ Shaffer has been creating
and selling artwork for more than 30
years. He fell in love wth printmaking
while in college and in the time
since has engineered a process that
is all his own.

Shaffer's self-styled 'Embossed
Engravings' are rooted in traditional
paper making technique but bear
a contemporary edge. Each unique
piece is crafted over the course of
several days and made to the
specification of the customer with
respect to thematic coloring elements.

"A finished original work is always my
ultimate goal," says Shaffer. "You will
be the only person to own a particu-
lar piece of my art."

Shaffer has won numerous awards and
accolades for his artwork and, in
addition, was named Brooke County
(WV) Teacher of the Year in 1993. He
lives with his wife in Wellsburg, WV.
The images in Russ Shaffer's
artwork are largely inspired by
the artist's family life and
travels. The materials he uses
are no less personal - many of
the organic components
from which his pieces are
constructed are grown at home
or acquired while traveling
with family.

Some examples include:

  • Seaweed and plankton
    gathered from the Pacific
    and Atlantic Oceans.
  • Wildflowers and grasses
    obtained throughout West
    Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic
    United States, and the
    eastern shore.
  • Homegrown fern, Lamb's
    Ear, hydrangea, and
    magnolia.
  • Peacock feathers (among
    other interesting
    materials) donated to the
    artist by his elementary
    school students and
    friends.

All materials are dried
and/or dehydrated prior to
their incorporation into the
artwork.