Monday, April 25, 2011

An Etching Experience

Last weekend I attended a beginners etching 1day workshop at the Impress Studio. 

This was my first experience etching zinc with acid.  Printmaking wasn't available where I did my TAFE studies and I have only since learnt some aspects of printmaking at various short workshops at BIA and Impress.

I found the drawing of the image somewhat challenging - the knowledge that I couldn't erase my lines like I could with pencil was somewhat off-putting.  I was helped by first tracing an outline of my pre-prepared image onto the plate.

The workshop was for me an introduction to the process of etching; its quite technical and lengthy compared to monoprinting.  I didn't particularly like having to keep track of the sequence and timing for the acid baths to create the aquatinting effects - knowing that if I made a mistake, my plate could potentially be ruined.  I'm also rather impatient with the inking of the plate - applying the ink then wiping it off just seems so.... pointless!  It took me the whole day to create one plate for a few prints - I now have a new appreciation of the process of etching.  Below are photos of my print from the etching workshop - my 'magpie'.

And now that I've had my big whinge about etching, I'm keen to explore more of aluminium etching.  I was introduced to this low toxic process by Judith Rosenberg several years ago and am keen to develop my skills.  I plan to use etchings over the top of my monoprints.  But I can assure you that monoprinting for me is my first love!

Magpie etching - 1st proof, line only

Magpie etching - with aquatint