Saturday, November 16, 2013

Some corrections, and more on printmaking

I wrote several things in the last post that were not accurate. First, regarding Japanese woodblock prints, I should have noted that they were not printed on a press. Those prints were hand-rubbed onto the paper.

Second, I said that for my color linocut print "Eden" I printed the dark outlines first, then the color sections. In fact, the colors went through the press first, then the outlines were printed on top.

Third, I talked about putting the "Falling Sword" plate into a dye bath, when I should have said acid bath! Alert printmakers will have caught my mistakes. Did my time dying wool gave me a wooly brain?

Now a note about another way to make prints from a copper plate: drypoint.

Drypoint does not require an acid bath, because the grooves are made on the plate directly with a sharp point. The drypoint grooves have edges, like a furrow, which catch the ink and hold it, giving a deep rich tone to the darks. The effect is softer than etching. You can see the difference in two images I made of the same object.

I began to make an etching of a basket, but I didn't like the first state, so I set the plate aside and started over on a new plate. The print is very small, 3 x 4 inches, so I had not lost much effort. Here are some states of the etched basket.

First state:

A state from the middle of the process:

The last state:

I then went back to the plate of my first, failed attempt and used it to experiment with drypoint. While this version began as an etching, you will see that it ended up with softer, darker qualities.

Looking at these last two images, I wonder, which do you prefer? Because these prints are from two different, plates, I could do an edition of either, both, or neither of them.

Here, by the way, are the two plates. The etched basket:

The drypoint basket:

I would love to hear from you. Which one you think would be best for an edition?

No comments: