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Beldan K. Radcliffe


Falling in love with Martha’s Vineyard during her childhood family vacations, Beldan has made the island her home since 1996. The peaceful natural beauty, and the harmony of a life by the sea deeply inspires her art.

Beldan is best known as a printmaker and collage artist. Her favorite technique is copper plate etching , which allows for extremely fine details in her drawings. Hardground etching is when an asphalt-like ground is applied to a copper plate. The drawing is carved into the ground using a fine pointed steel etching needle, and then the plate is etched in an acid bath. Once the plate is finished, the fun begins! Beldan prints her etching plates with chine collé, a technique that combines collage and etching. She makes a collage of beautiful handmade papers right on the copper plate when it is on the press ready to be printed. The papers and the plate go through the press together, printing the etching image on top of the collage and gluing the collage papers together. Every piece is entirely unique.

Her collages begin with beautiful materials, combining colors and textures in exciting tensions. Most recently Beldan has become inspired to collect, cut up, and recombine recycled sweaters into wearable art. She calls these creations “Upcycled Sweaters.” Always an admirer of fiber arts and quilting, the discovery of this new technique has ignited a new and exciting direction in her work. She searches for beautiful colors and patterns in her recycled knits, and delights in re-combining these pieces to make beautiful and fun clothing! Because of Beldan’s respect for the environment, the concept of recycling these beautiful fabrics otherwise cast aside is deeply satisfying.

You have likely seen Beldan’s artwork over the years at the Vineyard Artisan’s Festivals, Chilmark Flea Market, and the Featherstone Flea & Fine Arts Market. She also shows at Night Heron Gallery in Vineyard Haven.