Monday, 22 October 2018

Etching with a Laser Assist

Darren and I coated a copper plate with black spray paint, and cut off the paint with the laser cutter at QueLab hackerspace in Albuquerque.




The drawing cutting off the black spray paint,
at full power on the laser cutter 
(in about 20 minutes)





After the laser cutting


The idea is to etch the image into the copper plate, by submerging it in Ferric Chloride (for at least 30 minutes), and then making fine art etching prints from the etched copper plate.

This is not unlike making a circuit board.

Note: that after the high resolution drawing (181) was downloaded, it was "flipped" horizontally with XnView (or any other digital program), before being sent to the laser cutter.  That is because when the plate is etched and inked, it will print a reverse image on paper.

By flipping it first digitally, we will be able to print the image in the same orientation as it is in my book.  If we were etching and printing words, they would come out backwards in the final print, if we did not "flip" them horizontally first.



to the extraneous scratches on the spray paint,
so that they would not etch


After 30 minutes of etching
in ferric chloride


After  30 minutes of etching,
in a bath of ferric chloride


The proof print
on the press bed


The proof print is somewhat unexpected.  I did not take off the spray paint ground before printing, which probably accounts for the grey plate tone.  The spray painted surface has a matte texture, that did not wipe off well with the tarlatan wiping rag.

The actual lines of the figure however, were much lighter than I anticipated.  Perhaps the lines are too thick, and therefore did not hold the ink tightly, when the plate was wiped with the tarlatan rag.

The first proof print


Saturday, 20 October 2018

October 20, 2018

Drawn in the Argos Gallery of Santa Fe:


Newsprint drawing on top of the soft grounds


I epic failed trying to make a soft ground etching from a figure drawing, like I did last December (2017).  I prepared the copper plate with B.I.G. grounds the night before at Remarque/New Grounds Print Workshop in Albuquerque.  Then I drew the figure on the wet plate the next day at Argos in Santa Fe.  However, the palm of my hand rubbed against the newsprint, and that probably injured the plate drawing.  I should have drawn using a bridge, or a mahl stick, to lift my hand off the plate.



Disaster --
the soft ground plate
after 45 minutes of drawing

Note:  The next day I tried to roll the brayer over the plate, so that I could try the soft ground process again.  However, the BIG ground was already too dry to spread out the grounds.   Perhaps if I brayer over my bad plate immediately, I could have tried again.  As it is, I didn't sacrifice the copper plate -- I just have to take the dried old ground off, and reapply a soft ground.







Newsprint
BIG grounds
copper plate


First I coated the newsprint paper


Then I put the coated side of the newsprint
onto the copper plate,
and rolled the brayer on top, 
transferring the BIG grounds to the copper plate


When I peeled off the newsprint, 
the soft grounds layer was thin enough,
but not smooth --
notice the copper speckles peeking through


I then ran the brayer on top of the freshly coated copper plate,
and managed to cover the whole copper plate
with a smooth thin layer


I taped a piece of newsprint on top
of the coated copper plate,
and drew from the live model


The drawing proceeded nicely


And the drawing did pull off the soft ground,
exposing the copper for etching -- 
however I believe I rubbed my hand all over the plate,
and that picked a lot of the ground,
turning the paper black,
and making the finished plate unusable



WATERCOLOR

So I switched to watercolor, which I bought at the Southwest Print Fiesta in Silver City earlier in the month.  People keep telling me that I have to use color.





I bought the Arroyo watercolor tin
from the table Wildland Press, 
a project of Blossom Merz,
he is setting up his shop in Madrid, New Mexico


Arroyo color tin
by Wildland Press,
of Madrid, New Mexico





October 18, 2018

Drawn at 3rd Street Arts in Albuquerque:
















October 17, 2018

Drawn at 3rd Street Arts in Albuquerque:


















October 16, 2018

Drawn in the Argos Gallery of Santa Fe:

Morning:









Afternoon: