This double intaglio was only partially successful as we had problems with the soft ground which was used to prepare the ginkgo leaf plate. The ease of making the ginkgo image (you “just” run a leaf through the press on a soft grounded plate) was counteracted by the soft ground coming away on the wax paper, the leaf crumbling and sticking to the plate. Hmmm. My admiration for etchers grows and grows. One slip of the etching tool, one second too long in the acid, one tiny mistake with the soft or hard ground and you have wasted materials and hour or more of time and expectation. But the proof turned out better than I had thought.
I am beginning to get more of a feel for the inking, but as David, our tutor of 35 years of etching experience, says, every plate has its own character. Here is a sample of his work. His dark tones are wonderful, and to achieve this I know takes much plate reworking and very expert printing. The internet image does not do it justice at all.
“Flight Line“ 3’’ x 9.5”
See more on his website at http://www.hunterprintmaking.com/artwork.html
Etching has a beautiful, mysterious feel to it. Something of the antique. They are quiet contemplative things which require an intimate encounter. They don’t reward the casual glance or give the instant colour thrill of a screenprint. At their best they contain depth,detail and atmosphere. They reward people who enjoy the quality of marks for their own sake and who love the atmospheric.
But I am almost done with etching. The short course will finish next week and without a press, acid and, most of all, space. I won’t be doing any more for the time being. That’s one of the drawbacks of etching.. its not quite so easy as a few brushes some paints and some paper, and I am still trying to achieve the illusive non smudged, perfect print.
Bee and Ginkgo Plate
I was using some watercolour paper for this proof.. too thin really, as the print has buckled a little .. yet another variable and pitfall waiting for the would be etcher.