Friday, May 16, 2008


It's Friday evening, but the crucial difference between this Friday evening and last Friday evening is that I've finished the damned print!

You'd have laughed to see the set up I had for soaking the sugar lift off the final version of the plate - I ended up with the large black plastic trough full of water balanced on top of my wheelbarrow, out in the car port, so that I could wheel the trough into the light as it faded (and also to help my back by raising it up a bit while I brushed off the stop-out varnish).

My nifty wheelbarrow setup!

Etching it was fun and games. I put on a killer aquatint and... left it in the acid for too long and bit it all off again. Second time around I was more careful and it worked, and then I had to cover up the aquatinted areas to protect them while biting the rest of the plate so that the embossed areas stand out enough when printed.

It looks a bit surreal, but this is the plate in the water as I finished brushing off the stop-out

Once etched - finally - it took a while to work out how to ink up the plate. I have to be very careful applying the ink so that it doesn't get into the areas that I want to appear as an embossed white-on-white texture on the print, which means careful application and removal of the ink. Having practised three-cloth wiping, I tried chalking the embossed areas and using tissue paper for a final polish-up of the plate surface to remove tone, and I think I've got there. It took half a dozen goes to produce a bon a tirer print, but I did it, dried it, packed it and couriered it off to Melbourne on Monday morning.

The final print - but this was taken before it was flattened so forgive the kinks in the paper!

I know it arrived safely so now all I have to do is wait to hear back whether it's been chosen or rejected. I must say that I have no high hopes of it being selected, partly because I have no idea of what other prints will be offered, but also because I can't seem to make any judgement about my own work. If I like it other people don't, and if I don't like it then other people do! Or at least, that's how it seems.

1 comment:

Jan Allsopp said...

Looks really good Sara! What an achievement! Good luck - because that is really what it boils down to on the day of the selection.


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