I spent a happy but exhausting weekend at Swansea Print Workshop on a specialist course in the ‘BIG’ non-toxic etching technique, pioneered and taught by Andrew Baldwin of Trefeglwys Print Studio. Andrew has invented a new etching ‘ground’ and has also experimented with a range of household materials to take the place of some of the toxic chemicals used in traditional etching. We started by degreasing some plates with whiting powder (powdered chalk) and soy sauce. It makes a terrific degreaser and is far safer than the ammonia I remember using in art college, back at the end of the 1970s. Once the grease had been cleaned off, we rolled the red ‘BIG’ ground onto the copper plate, keeping the aluminium plate for a coffee lift and spit bite. More about that tomorrow…….
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