Archive | 22:04

Printing An Etching Plate

15 Feb

strip a

I’m getting better each day and I spent half a day at Swansea Print Workshop printing some of my etching plates. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s black etching ink (drypoint shopmix) and BFK Rives 250 gsm paper. I soaked it for about an hour and a half while I prepared some registration sheets and fixed them to the bed of the etching press, under a sheet of clear plastic. I got my workstation set up, with plenty of newspaper and some small sheets cut from Yellow Pages, washed scrim and set the hotplate to medium.

strip b

I put the steel photopolymer plate onto the hotplate to warm up and spread some ink across it with a small rubber squeegee, pressing it into the grooves. Then I rubbed it with a piece of soft, washed scrim in a circular motion until the excess ink had been removed and finally rubbed over areas I wanted to highlight with a cotton bud (Q Tip).

strip c

I cleaned my hands with vegetable oil then washed them and, using ‘paper fingers’, rtemoved a sheet of soaked paper from the tray and slapped it up against the white board. Then I squeegeed it to remove excess water, then put it between some sheets of blotting paper an rolled over the top to get damp, but not too wet. I put the inked-up plate onto the plastic sheet on the press bed, over it’s registration marks.

strip d

I placed the damp paper, again with ‘paper fingers’ over the plate, using the second set of registration marks, put some clean tissue paper on top and put the swansdown blankets over the whole thing. Don’t worry, they’re not made from real swans. Then I turned the wheel and put the whole thing through the rollers.

strip e

Then I took the print, called ‘The Towel’, off the plate and put it to dry between sheets of acid-free tissue between two fibre boards for a couple of days. It’s one of a number of my pieces going into a new group exhibition in Fountain Fine Art gallery in Llandeilo, opening on Saturday 23rd February. If you’re in the area, please pop in 🙂

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