Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Photo Etching~ The Process

A week & 1/2 back into school, & boy am I ever busy! In order to squeeze as much learning in as I can during the short quarter ( the state budget cuts have cut about a week off our terms, in addition to tuition hikes~ nice!)... I am spending monday through friday in class or in the studio... about 40 hours per week for 2 classes... and then I work all day on saturdays. Sunday I rest!

Photo etching, a specialty printmaking course taught here only once a year, has proven to be interesting already, as I had assumed it would. There are so many different directions one could go w/ Printmaking... it almost mind boggling!  We are starting with learning the basics of photo etching before we go into photographic images.

So, whatcha do is, take your copper plate, prepare it as you would for any other etching process... then apply a light sensitive film to it (we're using Imagon.) Then you take objects & lay them on top of the plate & expose them to light... similar to the old black & white film technique. You know I love documenting the process, so here we go! Here's where we lay our prepared plate to expose.

I did 2 images, one where I simply placed items on top of the plate... and one where I used a vacuum technique for finer detail. The plates below have been exposed, developed & are now into the etching & aquatint process. (If you are now thoroughly intrigued~ hee hee~ and want to know more about aquatinting I do have a post on that too!)

After the lengthy aquatint process & the plates are cleaned, you are ready to print. The first one I did, I wasn't really happy with... but I'm showing it here anyhow because I really enjoy documenting the process & seeing where I started from & where I end up. So, I printed a few & will now recycle the plate for another project. Here's how it turned out: 

My idea was kinda "things that can save your butt in the wilderness..."
My other print below was an a random idea, but I liked the way it turned out much better than the first.
It's just a tea bag, with the tea emptied. With this process, I used a vacuum sealer when it was being exposed, which allows for greater detail, but this technique can only be used on very thin items.

Then I just played with some color a bit on the same plate... it gives it a much different feel.

So, that's it for now! We're learning more techniques this week, so with any luck will have some finished by next week!


Annie Coe said...

Becky, thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, I would say, judging from this post that you are also a "true artist"! This is great and thank you for telling us how it was done. Good luck! xoxo

Barb said...

I enjoyed learning about this process. Actually, I do like the first etching - I enlarged for better effect. I think the objects you picked are interesting, and the shapes/textures/color also invite speculation. Good Luck on your classes and have a nice rest on Sunday!

Downstairscreator said...

Hi Becky...I've only been able to look at a few of your posts, but I've enjoyed what I've seen. Printmaking is by far my favorite medium and I alway fall back on it after a failed attempt at painting. I've done drypoint and solorplate etchings but never this technique. I like it!!!