The Renaissance Project

I have begun “The Renaissance Project”. To learn more about it click on the link on the right side of the page. I built a very simple oil press in order to test a key piece that I designed (the metal portion below).  This piece will be part of a larger,  more efficient press that I also designed (below). press sketchWe (my assistant Morgan and I) were able to produce about two tablespoons of walnut oil.  Now that we know it works I will begin building the more sophisticated press.

cranking press

crushing nuts

touching oil


3 responses to “The Renaissance Project

  1. Jeff,
    WOW! Good luck on your project, I’m very excited to see the results. I wanted to write you on behalf of everyone at the The Bridge, though I’m sure you’ll hear from many of us individually. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to your last class, but a few of the students shared with me some of the things you talked about. I was glad to hear that they felt the same way I did about your work with the academy and what you’ll be doing in the future. We’re all stoked! Thank you for the part you played and hopefully will continue to play in contributing to the school’s successes. It means a lot to us as aspiring artists. We are so privileged to have learned from you.

    Best of luck and I hope to see you around,


  2. To Jeffrey H.

    Hello…your idea is very interesting. I think pushing your skills (which I consider exceptional) to achieve such a complex painting without relying on photographs speaks greatly about your understanding of the painting process. How different the instantaneous practice of photography is from creating a painting by a sustained visual study of your subject!
    Are you aware of calcite sun oil? Possibly very close to what 16th and 17thcentury painters had in places like Spain or Holland (it seems that some liked solvent-resin based methodologies like Rubens but others were more inclined to calcite and protein based procedures). There is good research done at the Prado in Madrid and by the Rembrandt Project that substantiates this claim.
    There are a couple of painters who know a good deal about this in your country (I’m a Chilean-Australian guy living in Newcastle, Australia) Louis Velasquez wrote a book:
    The content of his book is the important thing here…extremely well researched and valuable.
    The other painter that takes a more experimental approach to the use of calcite is Tad Spurgeon:
    In his section”Techniques” he talks about the ‘putty medium’; this is based on sun thickened flaxseed oil (linseed…but closer to the real stuff Renaissance painters probably had).
    I prefer the information from Louis’ book but both resources are pretty good.
    Hope it helps…
    Pablo Tapia

  3. Hello Jeff and staff
    Thanks for the work you are doing. I invite you to read my book. Oil Painting with Calcite Sun Oil: Safety and Permanence without Hazardous Solvents, Resins Varnishes and Driers”
    Its the first contemporary book of its kind.It opens the door to the information of the first big breakthrough into the foundation of the permanence of the Old Masters’ work= THE SUPERIOR OIL.. More information on my website:
    thanks again. good luck

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