Monday, October 10, 2011

Etching - the print

I spent most of the morning being frustrated with the printmaking process, but believe the 'aha' moment has arrived and most of it is to do with paper choices. After yesterday's etching process, today was the printing.  I do not have a printing press so need to use a baren/brayer to achieve a decent image.

I started out with Rives BFK paper. Its fairly thick and strong, even when well dampened.  I perhaps overdampened and ended up with some blurred images.  The inks I used were Graphic Chemical oil based inks and initial prints were with Intense Black, a commonly used ink for etching.   I'm not sure if it was the ink or the paper or me, but the results were pale, the lines weak and soft.  However, with initial prints, it is a bit of a test to see what works and what doesn't.

1st print on BFK Rives paper

After a coffee and a think, I had an interlude of printing a linocut that I had recarved and used a lighter Okawara Japanese paper, perhaps half the thickness of the original Rives, using a mix of the Intense Black and Phtalo Green Caligo inks. The lino print worked beautifully.  Buoyed by success I tried another of the etching and am reasonably pleased with the result.  The lines are crisper and the colour darker.  It may be down to some more experimenting with other papers and inks.

2nd print on Okawara paper

From left to right:  BFK Rives paper, 1st print on Okawara, 2nd print on Okawara

I've enjoyed the etching process and would like to continue.  I would like to access zinc or copper plates and a decent etching needle as well.  That will have to go onto the next mail order shopping list.


Lydie said...

You did it! very interesting to read your explanation and various efforts. Thank you!

Jennifer Rose said...

looks very good :D I love etching, I find it very soothing scratching into the plates, kind of zone out :p

i've never actually used dampened paper before when printing from a plate, but I used a press so that might have made a difference, more pressure, so it still worked fine.

the lines you've etched might not be deep enough so that might be why your lines are not as crisp as you want them

Billie Crain said...

Your persistence paid off, Jeanette! I love the final print. I like the phthalo you added.

vivien said...

it looks good! I'd always simply accepted that intaglio prints weren't possible without a press - mmmm I could dig out old plates and see what happens ....

I can imagine that the thinner hand made papers will work better.

suzanneberry said...

beautiful! i love reading about the process!

Jeanette said...

Thanks Lydie, I hope it made sense.

Jennifer, yes, etching is quite interesting on a hard surface. It bit like silverpoint too which I enjoyed.

I think a press gives the best results but you make do with what you have. :) And you may be right about the lines not deep enough. I may go over them.

Thanks Billie. I'm nothing if not determined! :)

Vivien, yes, the thinner papers work best with the hand method I'm sure and likely better results all round with a press. I've heard of the car method but dare not try it. Maybe I should...just for experiment's sake.

Its definitely different Suzanne. I need to get some decent tools to really try a proper etching I think. Next mail order!

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Wow! this looks so interesting... you've got great results from hand burnishing. I really liked the subtlety of the first impression that you did on the Rives, it made me think I was looking underwater.