View Full Version : first etching...
02-12-2002, 10:02 PM
Well...here it is. The streaks towards the top are from the scanner, there was a slight wrinkle when I scanned it. (still damp)
More questions. Can I reapply the ground and try to redraw this for deeper lines? It's really weak looking to me. Or maybe I'm not wiping the ink right...or wiping too much? I know the bottom of the plate didn't take at all -- it's gonna take a little time to get used to this press.
Or maybe I should run, not walk to the nearest class...:rolleyes:
Hey, not bad, Gisela!
It does look like you didn't get a good, even wipe. The "inky" edges are the give away. Rhythmic circular motion, light pressure. Get a good, fairly firm "ball" of the material (been a while. What do you call that gauze?) continuing to turn the edges inward so the ball is soft but firm and there are no wrinkles. One trick is a final wipe with a page out of the Yellow Pages. Also the yellow pages are good for swiping the edges clean.
Bet Miss Sass has some good pointers.
02-13-2002, 02:39 AM
Yes, miss sass, can add a few tips:D
The gauze is called tarlatan, and it is best to use the softest you can find. mame gave you directions on how to use that, but one thing that I also do is apply my ink while the plate is warm. I use an old griddle that I can put on the range to do that. Once the ink is rolled on I then wipe while it is still warm also. If you take your tarlatan and just let it sit on the griddle for a min while you do a final wipe with newsprint or the yellow pages you can take the tarlatan up and make light passes with it over the plate to add back in a little ink. Then a light pass of the newsprint again.
You can go back over with your hard ground and work the plate more that way. I have often done that. I'm sorry I didn't get around to typing up the sheet of info tonight for you. Got a bit distracted with some chores that had to be taken care of. I promise I will get right to it in the morning.
P.S. Remember what I told you about plate tone too. You are going to have some of that, but if you wipe to get rid of that then you also lose some of the ink in areas that you do want it. It take practice in wiping, so don't get frustrated. You will have it down in now time. One tip is to be consistient in wiping the plate the same way each time before you make a print. That will give you more consistient prints also.
02-13-2002, 01:46 PM
yes you can reground and deepen the etch. other things to conider. how fresh was your acid? did you make a test sample plate so you knew how long you wanted to put it in the acid bath to get the depth of etch that you wanted? also have you tried aquatinting for deeper blacks and also for shading????;)
02-13-2002, 05:18 PM
Hi Gisela, I can't really comment on it, but you are making progress. Something I wish I could say. Have you done anymore woodcuts, or lino.
Just stopped by to say Hi,
02-13-2002, 09:58 PM
Tony -- good to see you! Hope you not working too hard. I have a couple of new woodcuts, but since I've finally gathered all my materials for etching, I got waylaid with that. ;)
Mame, Sassy and Chris--
Thanks so much for your comments and tips! I followed the book on the inking and wiping -- used a card to ink, then the tarletan, a hand wipe (yuck) and then phone book pages.
I didn't have the tarletan in a firm ball though -- I just kind of crumpled it up... Didn't even think about wiping the edges -- duh! It was really kind of hard to wipe at all, especially that side-of-the-hand thing. I used Daniel Smith standard black ( I bought the whole set), and I got the miracle gel stuff, but haven't used it yet -- I guess it'll take a while to figure out the right consistancy.
I can't get back to it till Friday, but I'll try everyone tips on wiping and give it another go, maybe try the miracle gel and some different inks.
If (BIG if ;) ) I can get it looking better, I'll try some aquatints with this one too. I'll keep plugging away. This whole process of this is just incredibly joyful for me. :D
Thanks everyone for your help!!
02-14-2002, 04:31 AM
Gisela, I use a 50/50 mix water and ferric for my acid bath. One thing that I learned is that if my acid is warm then it bites faster. You can do this by putting your container on a warming plate, or find a container that is a bit larger than the one you have the acid in and put enough boiling water in to come up about 3/4 of the way up the side of your acid container. This will warm the acid up nicely. Darrell Duchene says that you can get a special thermomoter to keep track of the acid temp. Yeah, I know, something else to buy.......lol I just do it by feel. I have also warmed my plates up before putting them in the acid, and that helps speed up the bite too.
What kind of container do you have your acid in? I bought a plastic 12x18x6" container with a air tight lid at Wal Mart. It is important to have a lid to keep your acid mix from evaporating. Also, you only need about an inch of the mix in the container at any given time since you only need enough to cover the plate.
Make sure you are using either a varnish on the back of the plate, or I like to use that sticky back vinel paper that comes in rolls to cut and put on the back of my plates. That protects the back of the plate from the acid. I use both sides of my plates a lot of the time to save money.
02-14-2002, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by sassybird
Gisela, I use a 50/50 mix water and ferric for my acid bath.
Do you use the dry ferric acid? The stuff I bought is called 'Copper Etching Solution' from Graphic Chem. The label just says ferric chloride and has the usual warnings on it, but doesn't mention adding water...I'll call them and check before I use it again.
I have also warmed my plates up before putting them in the acid, and that helps speed up the bite too.
I will try that!
What kind of container do you have your acid in?
I got a tray with a pour spout in one corner made for etching from Graphic Chem. I poured it into a seperate bottle afterwards.
I bought a plastic 12x18x6" container with a air tight lid at Wal Mart. It is important to have a lid to keep your acid mix from evaporating.
It's ok to store the solution in a container like that then? I like that idea much better than pouring it back and forth. I sometimes have major klutz attacks. :p I can always use the other tray for wetting the paper.
Make sure you are using either a varnish on the back of the plate.
I used stop-out varnish, but I'm going to try the vinyl. Gotta be less mess!
Thanks again Sass -- you've been so terrific about helping me along and sharing so much of your knowledge!!
02-14-2002, 07:27 PM
Gisela, I use the liquid ferric. I don't like to mess with dry stuff if I can help it due to having animals in the house.
I had a long talk with Darrell Duchene today, and he gave me some tips about the acid. I was not taught the way he does things, but then again I learned everything in school, and by just doing.
Darrell said that when I do a 50/50 mix that I am taking a shot in the dark with my baume (the bite of the acid). He said that I should buy a baume scale (hydrometer), and that most any place that sells ferric will have these devices. They are like a thermometer for the acid. Yep, one more thing to buy :( But, if it gives you better results.........
Here are the steps he gave me to follow:
Float the baume scale in the acid and add water until the scale reads 30 degrees. Add the water slowly and wait for a couple of minutes for the scale to register.
This temp is for doing copper plates. I am sure that Graphic Chemical could give you the information for other metal plates, and what acids to use for biting them.
Hope this helps.
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