Mars is red because of an abundance of iron oxide in its surface material – put simply, it’s covered in rust.
So, when the creative and planet-loving Barry Abrams made a portrait of the Red Planet, he decided to make it using the very thing which gives it its fiery hue.
The 34-year-old is a web designer and developer based in Champaign, Illinois by day, but a passionate screen printer in his evenings.
He started his piece with a square of sheet metal.
He then used adhesive vinyl to create circular masks on the metal – to imitate the round shape of the planet.
Then comes the clever bit.
Abrams sprayed the metal with hydrogen peroxide, causing the metal to rust – which is quite a sight.
Then, after removing the mask, Abrams sprayed the metal with a coating to protect the other areas of metal from rusting.
Using Photoshop, Abrams made a positive image of Mars.
He then used this to screen print the image of Mars onto the rust.
Burning a screen covered in emulsion, lighter areas allow ink to pass through.
Then, after a quick blow with a heat gun to cure the ink…
… Abrams’ inspired masterpiece was finished.
“The Mars print was actually pretty straightforward to make,” Abrams told the Press Association. “I knew I could get the metal to rust in a selective area, but I didn’t know if the black ink would adhere to the metal.
“Luckily with some coaxing from a heat gun, it did!”
“I’ve been screen printing out of my basement for the last year or so,” said Abrams. “The posters I print mostly are space-themed.”
Indeed they are – just take a look at the art show Abrams put on at a gallery in April this year.
Truly an out-of-this-world talent.
To see more of Abrams’ work, click here.