Coffee Talk

Writings by Edward Patrick Kranz (Ezju) about fine art created with coffee. You will find detailed information on Ezju’s works created at No Such Animal Studios and information about other artists who use coffee as a medium.

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

I'll have to think about this one a minute or two. Check back.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Ellen Taylor’s Children in Detention

In an article by Chee Chee Leung, April 27, 2006 for The Age ( on The annual Top Arts exhibition of VCE student work Ellen Taylor’s Children in Detention was mentioned.

Photo: Nicole Emanuel

Ellen Taylor, who studied at Wonthaggi Secondary College, used coffee and calico to create her work Children in Detention, a comment on the "inhumane" effects of mandatory detention on children. She says the dolls in the piece represent children in detention, cramped on a wall and "cowering in fear".

National Gallery of Victoria director Gerard Vaughan said: "It is always refreshing to see such innovative, thought-provoking and creative works."

The exhibition is part of the VCE Season of Excellence, which features the best student work of 2005 in technology, design, multimedia, cinema, and visual and performing arts. Top Arts runs until July 16.

Please visit for full article.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Espresso Vivace History of Espresso Mural by Karen Eland

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of meeting coffee artist Karen Eland who was in Seattle installing a mural under the bar at the new Espresso Vivace at 227 Yale Ave. N. (Downtown Seattle in Alley 24 across from REI).

I haven’t had a chance to visit the new 2000 sq. ft. espresso bar to view her all espresso pigment painting of the history of espresso but I did run across this image on the Espresso Vivace Web site.

After viewing the image here I definitely want to make the time to go down and see her mural in person and sample some of their fine roast to boot!

It will be interesting to see how this pieces weathers over the years considering it’s proximity to the ground. I believe there is a Plexiglas covering which should help it survive.

As soon as I get down there I’ll post more images of her Mural at Espresso Vivace here.

To view other paintings in coffee by Karen Eland please visit her Web site

Another cool installation at this café included a mosaic tile rendering of a caffe latte rosetta. Very beautiful. I can’t wait to visit this café because of the works described here and the fact that they plan another installation by Italian master Kurt Wenner that will be posted on their web site after the unveiling on April 18th. It is to be entitled "Vivi Vivace I Vizu e le Virtu" (Live intensely your vices and virtures).

Hey! They have free wireless too! Not to mention featuring a glassed-in meeting room that seats 15 and can be reserved for meetings at no charge. How can you beat that?

Menu: Edible Elements of Art Piece Near Completion

The en caustic coffee Rosetta, “Rosetta A La Helen Sage,” is over half way done now! I should be able to finish it (or at least come close) this upcoming weekend (April 15- 16) baring any natural disasters!

This update shot has the first layer of coffee painted on the Rosetta defining the general shape and general tonal values. I am using the birch panel as a mid-tone. Since this shot I have added another layer of wax getting ready for the final layer of coffee. Once the final layer of coffee is sealed I will bring out some highlights and edge the cup with additional layers of un-pigmented wax.

Just a reminder that the opening night for Menu: Edible Elements of Art is May 11th, 2006 at the Kirkland Arts Center from 6pm 'till 9! I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Rosetta A La Helen Sage

I’ve received some e-mails from folks wanting a sneak peak at the 8’ x 8’ en caustic coffee painting I’m working on for the Kirkland Arts Center upcoming show Edible Elements of Art. I’ve decided to show some of the different stages of the project up to about a week ago.

The painting has been named! “Rosetta A La Helen Sage” for one of the most wonderful woman walking the earth today. Helen is my wife’s grandmother and a great grandmother to more children than I can count on my two hands! At her age, past 80, I hope I have half the energy, passion, love and life that she has. Helen has been an inspiration to me for years now and this painting is in honor of her life.

On a side note, Helen has donated the coffee that made up the more then 40 pots that it took to make the coffee paint used in this painting! Thank you Helen!

With “Rosetta A La Helen Sage” I am using microcrystalline rather than the usual bee’s wax in my other en caustics. The reason for this is the flexibility microcrystalline offers at such a large size and it’s natural tack limiting the amount of fusion I will need between layers. I do miss the smell of bee’s wax but I’ll get back to that soon.

The medium is made up of the microcrystalline and dammar crystals (hardening agent). Pigment is added to the medium for the blue I will use in the outer corners of the painting. Coffee paint will be applied between layers of wax medium.

This is me working over my hot plate making up the wax medium. One of the two 8’ x 4’ birch panels is in the background.

The first layer of wax is to seal the birch and protect it from the acids in the coffee.

After using a 4’ length of string to make up the circle I put down the first layer of coffee paint to define the edges of the coffee cup as if you were looking down on the cup. Over this I will paint blue wax and fuse together with a heat gun.

To lay out the Rosetta pattern I used roasted and un-roasted coffee beans to “draw” the shapes without marking the painting. This helped me figure out proportions and layout.

I want the brush stokes to be visible when I paint the Rosetta. I’m using a fan brush to paint in the coffee to ensure this effect. The dark areas are painted in first.

The natural grain of the birch panels will add to the texture of the painting. This weekend I will be near compleation of the painting. This is where I leave off until we are closer to the show date. ‘till then . . .enjoy.