Becca Padilla (’16) collects pinecones. So it’s no surprise that they are often the objects of her art.

But there’s more to the pinecone than what meets the eye.

A Colorado native, Becca’s father is a wildfire fighter. He and many like him put their lives on the line every year when fires threaten homes, wildlife and our wilderness lands. He’s battled the blazes in many national forests in the West and when he leaves them, he picks up a pinecone, stuffs it in a pocket, and brings it home to Becca. Her collection serves as a reminder of the resilience of nature and the determination of her dad.

But about the art. How does Becca turn out these unique prints using a pinecone as her brush?

She explains.

“I’ve worked with the pinecone in a variety of mediums, but where it really resonated for me most was in screen printing. Looking at and working with one object so closely revealed to me the many number of layers, details and colors I could capture through this process.

Screen printing involves transferring an image by brush onto a mesh screen that is then coated with ink and pulled onto paper. Each pull is but one layer of the final print which, in some of my pinecone pieces, can be made up of nearly 10 layers of color.”

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