Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Printmakers fun

I mentioned that on Sunday we hosted Maleny Printmakers at our place for a play day - which was highly unsuccessful until we started to do copper sulphate etching on aluminium plates.

The kitchen lithography seemed simple - alfoil, soap or lithography crayons, coca cola, water, oil then ink...but not one of us managed to get the coca cola to interact with the crayon or soap in order to change the surface of the alfoil - despite the videos making it look oh so easy and like magic.

We all tried different things so we kind of feel as if we gave it a good go - but maybe our alfoil is different to the alfoil in France and the US; maybe our soap needed different properties and maybe our coca cola is even different to what is used elsewhere.

Here are my marks on alfoil before coca cola.


After I inked up my alfoil and printed - all you can see is the ink where I couldn't rub it off the foil - none of the marks collected ink at all.


So it was with a bit of fear and trepidation that I suggested we give copper sulphate etching a go on the aluminium plates we had purchased.  It was several years ago that I attended a workshop on this and I hadn't played with it since, so hazy, sketchy and uncertain were all good adjectives to describe my recollections.

Still we wanted to achieve something other than shiny alfoil on the day so off we went.

The sense of relief I felt when I saw the surface of my test plate being etched was immeasurable! Something was happening and from there on in, everybody could have a play, experiment and test out ideas. Phew.

Here are some images of the plates and prints that people achieved...

Kim's stunning marks. In both instances her plate is upside down to the print. But don't you just love the plates as well?




Some of Susan's test plates - experimenting with different resists and marks.



A couple of Nancy's lovelies.


The richness of Nancy's black background on this one is sublime.


Steph's print and plate - lovely shapes and marks again.


A couple of Sonja's - Mt Beerwah and a second impression of a snake skin in soft ground


And a remarkable thumb-print root system on this tree


I din't get around to printing - was too busy mother-hening and hoping that everything was working out OK. Nonetheless, I have several wee plates prepared and one day sometime soon I hope to do something with them!

12 comments:

  1. I'm dancing with excitement over the evident fun and magic of creating and sharing that was happening at your house. The prints -and plates - and wonderful!

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    1. ooh a happy dance! I really do think there is magic involved in printmaking - and we managed to make plenty of it. Glad you enjoyed the fun from way over there!

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    1. Indeed Valerianna - some pretty happy folk smiling to themselves as they pondered what else they might be able to do next.

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  3. The results of the copper sulphate etching must have made the day worthwhile. Lovely effects!

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    1. And such a relief Robyn! I think we were all thrilled with the leap from hopeless to pretty wonderful in one short day.

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  4. That looks such fun! In spite of initial disappointment the results are marvellous. Please find time to print up your plates, Fiona.

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    1. The afternoon was fun Carol - the morning more just a bit weird...I shall try to find time very soon Carol - I really did enjoy what others managed to do.

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  5. Thank heavens for copper sulphate!

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    1. Yes Jo -it was a rescue for us for sure!

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  6. There's some wonderful marks here Fiona. Etchings really are so satisfying. Seems a few people are finding the kitchen litho less of a success than the videos make it look. I wonder what the trick is?

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    1. Satisfying is a very good word Amanda - it felt deeply satisfying to see the prints emerge. I can't for the life of me work out what the trick is - everybody tried so many things - sanding the alfoil, drying the soap with a hairdryer, soaking for 7 minutes, different colas...but frustrating when it looks so darn easy!

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