Thursday, 21 July 2016

July 19, 2016

I am taking the etching class by Regina Held, at New Grounds Print Workshop (July 19 - 22), while our Desert Triangle Print Carpeta exhibition runs in the gallery up front --  the Matrix Gallery of Albuquerque -- during the month of July.

I did a couple of small prints, to learn the process:

Line etch and aquatint--
4th State:
after a line etch
and 3 aquatints

Preparing the Copper Etching Plate

Measuring and marking with a Shapie,
to cut copper etching plates

Using a shear to cut down
the copper etching plates

Filing to round the edges
of the copper etching plates

Use the coarse file first,
and the fine file next

Filing is grueling

Backing the cooper etching plate
with good contact paper

Cleaning and deoxidizing
the copper etching plate surface
with steel wool

Applying the Ground

The "ground" was made from
blue tinted Pledge floor wax

Squirting the "ground"
onto the vertical etching plates

Letting gravity, and the angle,
drain off the excess ground


I drew one of the etching plates
from a model on the computer

A variety of etching drawing tools

Homemade Echoppe tool;
Takach Press ground off the tip
of an etching needle
at 45 degrees

Preparing the Paper

Fanning the smaller sheets,
and then measure and marking 
the back of each with a pencil,
before tearing

Let the paper soak in tap water
before printing
(if left in overnight,
the paper will develop iron stains)

Etching the Copper Plate

Attach the back of the copper plate
to a long piece of tape,
and lower it into the vertical etching bath
drawn surface face towards the acid bath

Plastic vertical etching tanks

Washing immediately stops the etching process

Clean the Pledge floor wax ground
off with a solution of soda ash

Spraying soda ash onto the plate

First deoxidize with vinegar and salt,
then degrease with Bon Ami

Spraying vinegar onto plate 
to deoxidize

Shaking salt onto the vinegar,
then rub into plate with sponge,
and rinse,
to deoxidize

Then shake Bon Ami onto plate,
and rub off with sponge
to degrease

Clean and ready
for inking


First spread some Akua intaglio ink
onto a glass plate
with a putty knife

Spread ink over surface of etched copper plate,
then scrap off,
all with a small square of cut matboard

Rub the plate with a tarlatan
to take off excess ink
(dirty is fine,
as ink attracts ink)

Wipe the remaining ink off
with newsprint 
(until you can see no 'halos')

Pull paper out,
and let all the water drip off at an angle

Dry paper between two towels

Place copper plate on press bed,
then paper over the copper plate

Crank and print!


We can speckle the surface of the copper plate
with ground,
then etch,
to create an aquatint

First we cover the parts of the plate
that we do not want etched in aquatint
with a "resist."
A Sharpie marker works as a "resist"

Plates marked up with Sharpies
to create a resist

Lightly spray the plates
with Pledge Floor Wax ground
using an airbrush,
to create the aquatint

Clean the airbrush immediately with water
and perhaps a bit of soda ash,
so the airbrush does not clog for the next person

Submerge the "aquatinted" plate
in the tank,
design facing the acid bath

Etched and cleaned plate --
notice that the shiny areas
were those protected by the 
Sharpie resist

Applying the Sharpie resist again,
before aquatinting plate for the second time

Etched and cleaned plate

One line etch,
two aquatints,
make a "3rd State" print

Resisted with a Sharpie maker for a third time,
before aquatinting the third time

Soft Ground; soft ground variation -- crayon manner; spitbite; lift ground; crisco lift; selective wiping; chine colle; curating


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