Multiplicity, Soft-ground and Stop Start Etching

I am so excited to be experimenting with Multiplicity, Soft-ground and Stop Start Etching.

In my last blog post, I spoke about the difficulties in forming a conversation between the marks that were present on the plate. To me, the etch was shouting over the natural striations and oxidisation that I was encouraging to form. Resolved to take an active approach to mark making. Utilising soft-ground, Lascaux varnish, impure water and a pertinent quotation from A Thousand Plateaus I began to experiment.

soft-ground stop start etching rhizome printmaking
The experimental soft ground on a hand ground zinc plate.

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Printing with Impurity and the Rhizome

As the academic year comes to a close and the printmaking studio empties of frantic students I have found some time to begin experimenting with impurities and the rhizome.

I have been very kindly given a number of large, lightly etched zinc plates. My usual practice is to, grain, aquatint and etch zinc multiple times with a deep bite, so the light etch would not interfere with my work, but as I occasionally laminate plates with photopolymer it is best to start with a neat surface.

Whilst graining the plates by hand, using a medium¬†carborundum, block and sandpaper I removed a substantial layer of the original etch. As hand graining with a block is a laborious process I broke the monotony by periodically inking and printing the plates. I thought that if nothing else I would be left with a series of prints showing the reduction of an etch and the appearance of a ghost like ‘nothingness’.

intaglio, printmaking, etching, impurities, soft-ground experimental
Air dried hand grained zinc plates, UCLAN Printmaking Department

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