Last week was hectic, I don’t think this week will be much better. But! I worked in the print shop on Friday and even proofed a few plates. I’m happy to say that the cicada printed beautifully, and the marks on the plate that I was worried about did not show up on the print. Hurrah!
I over-wiped the other plates because I was rushing and hungry and wanted to go eat dinner with my boyfriend. Even with that, they still look too light so I’ll be working back into them. This includes Evil Butterfly, whose wings did not etch properly (as I suspected) and are way too light to boot. Anal Retentive Dragonfly is still in progress– wings are now half done.
I also did a little plate that combined crow silhouettes with a splatter pattern (achieved by coating the plate in ground, spritzing it with thinner, and blotting it). No reason. I like the silhouettes and might incorporate them into another piece.
In the background of that you can see a hand, which belongs to a sketch that I’m translating onto copper plate. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. It’s kind of nerve-wracking as I’ve never worked with copper before. I’m having the same problem as with it as that one lone zinc plate I did– the surface is so smooth that I’m having a hard time drawing, because my tools slip right over it. At least the steel plate has some texture, which to me feels more like paper because it catches the tools enough to allow me some control. Steel is like paper, copper is more like glass. It also worries me because of how easily it scratches; if I make mistakes I will most likely have to burnish them out. -_-
I am super excited because the Southern Graphics Council printmaking conference is being held in Philadelphia this year, which is only a few hours away. I only registered for one day– on Friday there will be a demo on electro-etching, which I am so stoked about. I read about it last summer for the first time. Basically it is reverse electroplating, and non-toxic. Instead of having an acid solution to remove exposed metal you have a weaker, salty solution, and you hook it up to a battery. It sounds so bad-ass. I am not explaining it well at all, it is much more involved and science-y. Probably the coolest part is that since the solution does not weaken over time, you can time your etches. You can’t with acid, which makes the acid etching process much more intuitive and less precise if you want very specific tones/depths. (I am all about midtones! I would love to time my etches!!)
So that’s next Friday, the 26th! I’ll bring back a full report.