I attempted to make another soft ground etching, while drawing the live model.
I used a bridge this time
Last month I did not use a bridge, and smeared most of the plate with the edge of my hand, rendering the whole effort unusable. However last year I made a successful soft grounds etching during Mary Teichman's workshop at Argos Studio and Gallery in Santa Fe.
Newsprint paper taped over
the copper plate covered with wet BIG black grounds,
drawn from a live model with a dull lead holder pencil,
using a sturdy bridge to protect the drawing in wet grounds
Drawing on the underside of the newsprint,
after peeling it off the wet BIG grounds
on the copper plate --
note how the drawing is reversed!
The copper plate,
after I peeled off the newsprint paper drawing
At this point the process is not finished. I need to etch the copper plate with the BIG grounds on it, before making a print. I believe I could etch the plate immediately, while wet, without disturbing the ferric chloride "acid" bath.
However, I will harden the BIG grounds first, by placing it in a clear plastic box, and leaving it in the New Mexico sun. The box will protect the grounds from gathering dust, as well as create a mini-greenhouse to heat up the copper plate. At the point where the grounds are no longer sticky, I have a hard grounds plate.
With a hard grounds plate, I can scribe over the plate with an etching tool, adding thin lines to the drawing before I etch it. This is not something that one can do with traditional soft grounds, but will work with the BIG grounds.
However, I will probably etch the plate first, and make a proof without taking off the now harden BIG grounds. Then I can scribe into the plate, adding new thin lines, and etch it again. Who knows what kind of exciting disaster awaits.
The next day (Nov 11th) I went to the South Valley Studio Tour in Albuquerque, and visited the studios of Barbara Endicott and Laurence Wellborn. I left them some copper plates with BIG grounds, to lure them into etching.
Barbara Endicott in her South Valley studio,
with Ken Romig
Barbara Endicott, Laurence Wellborn, and Ken Romig all draw consistently at the 3rd Street Art drawings sessions in Albuquerque.