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Sunday, 16 January 2011

First etchings at home

We used ferric chloride to bite into the copper and it really worked. We used the intaglio oil ink that Matt had got from Intaglio Printmakers at London Bridge, and despite being awfully messy to clear up it didn't make as good a result as the water based ink we used on the drypoints. That was a bit disappointing, frankly. However, you can see some of the results here. They were printed on little pieces of pressed copper pipe, and it was really difficult to keep them flat enough to rub off the ink off the smooth bits and leave it in the grooves. So we may try printing these again on the big workshop presses.

Here's the results for now anyway, you can see we have a lot to learn, but the pictures still have a lot of charm. On these results I think Matt's designs and inking has worked a little better than mine. It's interesting that in this case he has drawn people and I have done transport scenes that feel more distant.

It's quite difficult to scan in these etchings properly - I think the fact that the image is squashed back from the scanner screen due to the indentation in the watercolour paper doesn't work with the machine's focus, and I don't think there's a setting to change that. If there is one in ordinary scanning software using TWAIN I would be really glad to know. I just use a CanoScan LIDE 100 scanner. It's very cheap. Solly pissed on the last one. I really shouldn't keep it on the floor but it seems the most practical place for it in other ways. Note to self: Keep All Animals Out Of The Studio.

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