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Friday, 11 February 2011

Colours, Band Saws and Thinking Outside the Box.

Here are images of the prints taken from the gold and silver etching inks I bought back in December. The other print that I pulled was trapped under quite a lot of other people's work in the drying boards so I still haven't managed to get a picture of that yet but will post it as soon as I have one.

 Recently I have been experimenting with applying colour to the plate before printing. This technique is known as a la poupeé. The prints I pulled were by no means perfect, but its a starting point and something for me to build on.

The basic line in this print is done with silver ink. I used cotton wool buds to apply black to the rock like formations on the outside. I quite like it how you can see the motions in the print that the ink was applied. It adds a sense of motion and life to the piece
For this print I used black for the line and added violet to the flowing forms and little bits of silver around the cracked areas to create the impression of shadow. 

I think this was my most successful attempt. I think the colours work much better with a more subtle approach taken here. The line is done in silver, with black on the rock formations and just a touch of violet red on the flowing forms.

For this print I used the chine-collé technique along with a la poupeé to achieve subtle purple tones on the flowing forms.
The print bellow was just a proof but I registered it anyway. I have been drawing out the registration area on to newsprint and then lining up the plate and the paper when I'm ready to print. I don't like drawing up the registration sheets as its time consuming but I find it makes such a difference to the final print and think it's total worth taking the time over doing although I may just start to draw the registration marks directly on to the printing bed so I don't have to draw the sheet up for each print. I used green and yellow tissue paper to add colour to this print and to see if it made a difference when the chine-collé pieces were layered on top of each other.

During my recent tutorial Nick (my tutor) suggested that I move away from working within the square/rectangle of the etching plate and try cutting the plate to a different shape. I bought a large piece of zinc from college, sketched out the shape I wanted and took it to the workshop. I had to use a band saw to cut the zinc and found it quite scary as I could just see myself cutting my fingers off or something! The machine is lethal!

The Band Saw!
Zinc shapes with protective covering layer still attached.
The tools I used to bevel the edges of the plate

After I cut out the shapes I had to bevel the edges as they were very sharp and would damage the blankets on the press if I were to use the plates as they were at this stage. I used the 2 files first then the small cylindrical piece to smooth the marks made by the files. This is the stage I am currently at. Now I need to degrease the plates, put ground on them and etch the image. I am looking forward to seeing what effect the different shape of the plate has on the finished image. Watch this space!

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