Etching is the prossess of using acid to engrave a design into a piece of metal, then this metal is inked and printed. As this is a taught lesson at first ill be preparing the plate and drawing a random design.
I found this video on YouTube, this not only shows the process of etching but also of other techniques like dry-point and engraving. The video also shows different materials you can use within the studio we will use different materials to the ones used in this video but the outcome will be the same.
while preparing the plate we used a paste the technician made to clean the plate from grease (this took a couple of goes). Then we dried the plate using a heating plate and added hard wax onto the plate then let it cool down. Once the plate was ready we drew onto it using a needle.
This was the design I made on the plate and once this was done I taped up the back with pastel tape and made a handle so I could get the plate out the acid easier. This plate stayed in the acid for around 5-6 mins with a feather being rubbed over the surface as bubbles appeared. Due to the acid being used by other students and me wanting to tried more things with etching I decided to prepare a bigger plate.
This was the outcome to the first etching I made. I really like the outcome and it gave me a really good test on how detailed I can get before for acid starts to bite into the metal. Once I had done this I started to look into etching and how I could develop my ideas, I am going to make another post about the chapman brothers and their works with another artists etching and their development on it.
Another technique I used to create my print was the cleaning process, by the I mean I cleaned the plate from 90% of the surface ink but with the last 10% l only cleaned off highlights (e.g the highlights on the flowers) I decided to play around with adding highlights is to add depth and texture. I feel this really helped to develop the print from just a line drawing, also I feel I need to add colours to help this piece and help with showing the context more.
After making my original collagraph I decided to try and experiment more within this technique. As a start I wanted to see if I could create a reversed effect, for this is used a roller to roll ink onto the plate and then printed it. I’m glade I tried this because It changed the result dramatically.
After doing this I wanted to take my experimenting further, my next development is to go from under A5 to A1. I also want to try a more relief style collagraph, for this I thought of making this plate in a more 3D style.
For this I decided to try and use string to so it will have a low relief. This will also cause the paper to have a risen 3D print on the back, this could be a fascinating idea to develop.
I order to do this I used a A1 mount board and drew out the design I wished for. I used wool and PVA glue to slowly place it down. Once dried I painted the whole thing with shellac so it holds better but is also water proof.
when inking the plate up, at first, I wanted it to be clean and just lines but as I was in the process of inking I decided to be a little more loose and started to let the ink so where the roller would touch when just rolling over it. This left a blocky college look that I have been convinced to love.
This was the final look of just printing the collagraph and I really like it, the next thing I want to try is adding colour but I’m not exactly sure how I want to do that right now. All I know is I don’t want to do it with just ink and a roller. As I feel there is a much more interesting and effective way of adding colour.
next I will be trying etching and my plan is to do a black an white experiment etching and then try and add colour to both the etching and the collagraph, as I feel it might help me to be more loose if I can bounce between the two and use them to help the other. I also have plans to try out making a background before printing the collagraph but I’m not sure how I want the back ground so I need to do some experimenting on this.
When examining the brief, I found the title of the project, point of view, interesting. As a result of there being many outcomes. I know the first technique we are being taught is collagraphs. To keep starting this project simple, I will develop a design from last years project for the first technique.I wish to develop an deep understanding for how society preserves beauty and ugliness within others.My work will investigate this part of human life due to its massive impact to how humans work within communities, but also how it helps or hinders us to develop relationships with each other.
My practice is going to push the understanding . this is a massive part of human life but we never think about it and when we do we always claim we don’t judge people. when this I not true, everyone judges people it is how we determine if someone is a good person or if we want to stay away from them. below is some examples of last years works that i am doing to develop for the beginning of this years project.
I have looked online for some more inspiration for this project just within animals bones for now, this is mainly for inspiration on what I can make for my collagraph. I have a fascination with narrative to express an art piece, as i feel it helps the art piece come alive but also helps the work connect to the viewer.
Below are illustrations I found and Want to take some inspiration from. The key approach I wish to take from these works is create detail within a simple way. This is how I need to execute my collagraphs as I cant have loads of little detail without the mount board falling apart.
An artist i have taken inspiration from is Paul Jackson, his work mainly involves animals and their skeletons. I am going to do another post discussing him and talking about the concept of his work. His work develops a lot on the idea of how we see animals. I feel this links closely to my work so I wanted to look into his work deeper as a starting point for my work.
Within the photos shown above is a key example of his works, I want to involve colour in my project but not straight away. I feel Jackson used grey scale, highlights and a 3D element in a very developed way to convey his art. This then gives the viewer a better understanding of where the skeleton is coming from and the form of the animals.
This is the lion skull with a main I designed. from the other I used the main to show the life within the lion. I really do like this one but I feel I could used the idea of different zones of time within a different and more artist way. I really did like doing this because it did make me learn how to add in more detail and I feel I am getting more comfortable with being more relaxed when adding in details (e.g. in the skull) so next I want to try and use time zone for effectively
This is a fennec fox skull. This lino print is black oil based ink and on paper. The idea behind this is that it shows life and death and how death can also bring life to other things, this then shows time and how over a big part of time we all play our part but also life and death within it. death is a horrible thing but sometimes you need death of one thing for another to live, like how animals kill so they can eat.
I really like this piece and feel I’m getting a lot more confident within shading and how to use the lino print to create the look of depth. for these I use a scalpel as I find I have a lot more control.
to show the idea of time i wanted to show how one life dying over time can be another life growing so i decided to do this through animal skulls and flowers. so i decided to do just a “normal” design before reefing into a design that i would want leading to my “final thing”
First I started off by drawing a design of a bird skull (osprey, or more knows as a sea hawk). When I had done the design then slowly went into cutting the lino and keeping the bits I had drawn as they where the bit I wanted to be covered in ink.
these photos show the lino block and all the prints i had made form it i defiantly prefer all black as i feel it is m ore clear. from this i moved on the another design. for the nest i wanted to make it less business and have a skull with little foliage. so i used mushrooms and leaves and a smaller skull (fennec fox).
i really loved doing this one as while craving it i didn’t think it was going well but once i had rolled the ink on it i really liked it. i think this is one of my favourite things about lino print is the idea of i don’t truly know how it will look until the ink is on it.
i think i want to head in this direction for print or dry point but I’m still going to look in other way too.
The first two are me drawing in to the ink its self, and making up the design and the last one is the out come. This came out a lot better than i thought as the print came out with white missing bits of ink. This ended up looking like embers from a fire and shows how we have slowly destroyed tress and nature over time.
this is me drawing on to the back of the paper to pick up the ink, i had to try this twice as the first time I didn’t notice I had put to much ink down and it picked it all up (very right photo) but then one in the middle was the final outcome I think I could do this better.
The one on the far right is the stencil I made on the ink from this I made the other two prints, and I tried drawing on the back of the ink as well. I really liked this but wanted to see if i could make a more real skull so I moved to drawing on the paper.
This is one of my best prints. with a paintbrush I drew into the ink before putting the paper onto the ink. I really like this piece and want to try it more as this was the best controlled way I could create the marks I want.
These are some of the random prints I made, I wanted to see what patterns I could make and see how the inks would mix. I feel this helped me to figure out how I could use the inks in a more controlled way when i next do printing.