I’ve been taking a 5 week etching class at the IAC. Etching is a printmaking process that goes something like this:
1. Prepare a copper plate by cleaning it, spray painting the back side, and then coating the front side with asphaltum.
2. Scratch through the asphaltum (like scratchboard) with a sharp tool to expose the copper plate. Every scratch mark will translate to black in the final print.
3. Soak the plate in acid for about 25 minutes or so.
4. Clean off the asphaltum, leaving a clean, etched copper plate.
5. Ink the plate, and wipe off most of the ink with a wad of starchy cheesecloth. The ink will settle down into the etched grooves.
6. Place the plate and a moistened sheet of printmaking paper together, and run it through a press (like a big, overgrown rolling pin).
7. Separate, and voila!
Tonight I finished up with steps 3 through 7, and I just wanted to share what my first print looked like. It measures 4"x6". I think I’m going to tint it with colored pencil.
I’ve done this process back in art school, and in a future post, I might share some of those.
Note to my family...yeah, I know it's the reverse view of our patio. I forgot to reverse the image when I was scratching the plate. Oopsie.