Tuesday, 28 October 2008

This is drawing I was talking about the other day. The one I was having trouble with. I went back and had one more go at it...


Not perfect, but enough to give me an idea about what I wanted the etching to look like...

I transferred the image onto the copper plate using soft ground wax. There's no hot plate to heat the plate and melt the wax at work (they get pretty hot and aren't that safe), so I used a heavy frying pan covered in tin foil over my electric cooker. Probably wouldn't pass a health and safety inspection, but I was careful I promise :)

I then placed a piece of paper over the cooled waxed plate and drew my image. The soft wax sticks to the paper under the pressure of the pencil, and when the paper is peeled back the wax is removed. Here's the waxy mono print left on the paper...


And the plate ready to be etched...


The print below is a rough proof, to see how the lines had turned out. It's hard to tell when a soft ground etching has bitten far enough because if I touched it with my finger nail to check, like normal, it would smudge the wax and then I'd have to start again. So it's a bit of trial and error.

This time it was in for 6 minutes and the lines were quite faint, but they're only a guide for the next step of the process, so this time it'll do...


I then sprayed an aquatint ground onto the plate, which basically means covering it with tiny, tiny dots that create varying tone when etched for different amounts of time. It can be tricky as the tonal areas have to be blocked out in reverse, and I got some bits not quite right (have a look at the drawing at the top and you'll See what I mean) but overall it could've been worse.


Tomorrow I plan to tidy it up a bit, and then hopefully make some prints!

P.s. Its freezing here! I had to wrap the worm bin in bubble wrap to stop them turning into little worm icicles. Brrr.

9 comments:

acornmoon said...

That is lovely, it will print beautifully I am sure. What a gentle looking dog, I have a soft spot for doggies.

Iris @ Pied Crow Press said...

Oh, it's lovely! And I agree with acornmoon, your dog looks like a real sweetheart.

Amy said...

It's a beautiful print! Lovely lovely. I hope your worms are okay...stay warm! :)

Gina said...

Wonderful to read the whole process Sarah... and love the print!

Eleanor said...

What a great post! I absolutely adore the rough quality of the original drawing. The whole process is beautiful, though. x

Tammie Lee said...

My goodness, I am so happy to meet you through your blog. I wish I lived near you so that I could take book making with you! Your art in all its many forms is wonderful! I have looked at many of your posts this morning and am full to spilling over with inspiration due to you. Thank you!

Anna said...

Hi Sarah- the dog looks great! man its been ages sine I said hello here! I hope all is well for you..

Dana and Daisy said...

I am amazed at the etching process. I have never learned how, but would sure like to some day.

Morna said...

I absolutely adore the drawing of the dog, including his wonderful posture and spindly legs. I wish you would try an etching of the entire drawing. The etching of the head is beautiful in its own right. But there is just something extra special about the original drawing in its entirety. :-)