Archive | 22:29

Coffee And Spit Bite

4 May
The plate ready to print

The plate ready to print

More geeky printmaking stuff from last weekend’s B.I.G. Etching course with Andrew Baldwin at Swansea Print Workshop. The aluminium plate was degreased with whiting and soy sauce to get it ready for drawing on with instant coffee solution. I forgot to take a photo of mine being drawn, but Andrew Baldwin has kindly lent me a photo from his forthcoming book (below). Once I finished the coffee drawing I gave it a quick flash in the oven to dry it and then rolled over a layer of Andrew’s B.I.G. etching ground. I baked it for 6 minutes and then bathed it in warm water, which lifted off the areas that had been drawn with the liquid coffee, revealing the areas to take an aquatint and spit bite, which will be the darker areas of the print. Then a quick dunk in copper sulphate solution to etch a light grey aquatint, giving the metal a bit of a ‘tooth’.



The copper sulphate does some chemistry and reacts with the aluminium, effervescing a red residue. Once that happens, the etching process stops and the residue washed off to reveal the lightly aquatinted surface beneath. Once it dried, I added layers of localised etching using a brush and concentrated copper sulphate solution to darken the selected areas. Then I scrubbed off the B.I.G. ground with non-toxic paint stripper and a stiff scrubbing brush. Now it’s ready to take a first proof, which I will do at an Open Access session at Swansea Print Workshop tomorrow.


The image is of a standing stone I drew recently on one of my adventures through South Wales hunting the wild megalith. Please click here if you would like to see more of my artworks.

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