Sunday, May 14, 2017

Etching away

During the week I got to etch the wee aluminium plates I prepared last weekend.

They are only small - 5cm x 5cm each so didn't really require much etching solution!

I am an intermittent printmaker; and often times forget the things that would be second nature to real printmakers.  Like I started wondering if the Sharpie that I had sketched the designs on with would end up acting as a mask for the etching solution.  I took a bet each way and removed it (after another conversation with myself about what might remove it - I ended up with turps) mostly...

In some places the shellac had gone over it and it couldn't be removed; but with the multi line one I decided to leave a bit on around the edges to see if my mask theory was correct.

And then into the copper sulphate solution. I always love the muck that emerges!

And out they came and I was pretty happy with the results. I will need to re-do one of them tho - not so happy with it.

My mask theory was right - you can see how some of the Sharpie worked to resist the etching solution not he edges here.

And then I printed them. I loved the blackness of the first run; but also enjoyed the softness of the second run; the grey and slightly washed out look is a bit softer perhaps.

A direct comparison between black and grey!

So I now have the dilemma of choosing between the looseness of the etch above; or the sharpness of the lino below. And then between the black and the grey. And which typeface to use for the words. And what size typeface to use. And then the layout of the image to the words. And then...



  1. o wow, they came out really nice ! The bottom 2 are my favourites what motive is concerned. And the grey has a certain softness to it which is really wonderful.

    1. Thanks Annick - I like the softness of the grey too - I will see how it combines with black text I think...or maybe the black with grey text? Not sure yet! Go well.

  2. Oh choices, choices.... it's been too long since I did some etching and one look at that image of the solution and the waste is enough to have me reaching for the copper sulphate. I really love the outcomes but might lean towards the softer, fragmented lines and most definitely in the grey. That soft colour just works so well.... sigh.....

    1. Oh Lesley I am inundated with choices and keep hoping I am making the right ones as I move along. I like both the starkness of the lino and the softness of the etch; and the soft grey I might combine with black letterpress type. And a hint of red somehow maybe? Yes, get some copper sulphate out and have a go! I did it in a take away chinese container because I hardly needed much for my small plates and don't feel like I wasted any.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.