Day 13 of my printmaking residency at Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts was the last day of the Copper Sulphate Aquatint Etching workshop using Aluminium and Zinc.
The objectives of the coarse was to create two editions using Sugarlift, Aluminium and Zinc in Copper Sulphate Etch to create an Aquatint without using rosin, spay paint, sandpaper etc, only using the plate and the acid.
Today everyone was incredibly productive, producing unique state and small limited editions.
I prepared the paper the night before and created a template for up to 5 prints to be printed in one go. By doing this the artists were able to produce there editions easily in the time we had.
We had a little trouble with the blankest moving as the plates passed through the press so everyone worked together to ensure the blankets were flat from start to finish
Gabriel Smith pushed her zinc plate further in the acid to get a rich velvet black aquatint. Previously the zinc was open biting rather than creating a tooth to hold ink. Gaby carefully etched the plate by watching the plate in the acid and removing it before the black build up on the surface of the plate lifted. I think the times were no more than 30 seconds each and she patiently did this over a period of time watching the textured surface of the zinc gradually build to ensure it held ink.
There was a joke going..
"What do you call a group of printmakers standing around a press? An impressionable crowd. "
Nadia Hilton produced some very interesting experimental prints including using and inking process called, A la poupee A method of applying two or more than one colour to a plate
At the end of the workshop we drew a name each for a print exchange, It as great to see such a willing exchange amongst artists, most people swapped with more then one person in the group.
Indian Ink Sugarlift recipe:
- Place Indian ink in a saucepan on the stove and bring to the boil
- Pour 1/2 a cup of white sugar in at a time dissolving as you go until you have a thickish syrup.
- You can add addition Indian ink to the mix as required before applying to your plate if you require a thinner solution.
To your success as a printmaker.
Australian Printmaking in the 1990s: Artist Printmakers : 1990-1995