Monday, 31 March 2008

experiments

In the print room where I work we try to keep toxic chemicals to a minimum. For etching we use copper etched by ferric chloride (much safer than traditional nitric acid which does all sorts of dodgy things to a person!) and follow the method explained by Keith Howard in his book 'Non Toxic Intaglio Printmaking'.
 

This method is fairly new to me, and so I've been messing about with some scraps of copper and different resists; varnish, acrylic paint, marker pen and vaseline...


I've found the vaseline particularly interesting, spreading it in a thin layer and using a pencil/needle/finger to draw through it and move it about on the plate... lots of potential there I think...



And what I'm really looking for is a kind of soft ground etching technique (as I sometimes find hard ground etched lines too fine; soft ground lines have a softer, blunt pencil like line which I like), vaseline seems to have potential for this too... any ideas?? 


Sorry if this is all a bit garbled, it's been a busy day... But there's nothing like a good old experiment is there :)

4 comments:

eb said...

Hmm... vaseline sounds like a good choice. As soon as you mentioned it, my mind thought it would make a good pencil, drawerly (wd?) line. Most of my ferric experience is with the acrylic floor wax. Again its a hard ground with sharper results. With cheaper acrylic floor waxes I found them a bit more brittle and thus noisy for an effect. In mentioning acrylic floor wax I now wonder about waxy floor wax. Maybe that will make a softer ground. Shoe polish? Just brainstorming now.

karen said...

Hi Sarah Thanks for leaving the comment on my blog. I have visited your blog a couple of times before and it's good to finally meet you so to speak!

Sarah said...

Thanks eb, shoe polish, sounds like a good idea (although I do wonder if these random things I'm putting in the ferric may affect it? None of it seems to come off the plate and it's quite a big tank so probably not...) And waxy wax sounds like its worth a try too... I suppose its finding the right balance between stickyness and greasyness :)

And Karen, same goes!

Kath said...

Thanks for the ideas -- I'm taking etching as part of my undergrad work and we've been using ashphaltum for hard ground. Haven't experimented with the soft ground we've got yet, but using vaseline and other things sounds like a great idea and I'll have to experiment with other things next year. It totally didn't occur to me to try different resists as I hadn't done any etching at all before January.