How I do my prints: etching.

This is an example of how I produce my prints, in this case this etching with chine-collée “Leaving the temple” (2020).

Leaving the temple, etching, 2020.

I usually start from a photograph: in this case a photo that I took in Kyoto in 2019.

Original photo

Etching is a technique using metal plates which are covered with a wax resist ( a ground) and then etched in acid. I drew freehand from the image on to the hard ground on the plate as the effect is freer and I can alter elements. This is a print from the plate at this stage. You can see I didn’t reverse the image so the print is a mirror of the plate.

First state print

I then added a texture by putting a soft ground on the plate and pressing textures into it ( using the etching press) before etching in acid as usual. The tree is a rubber glove and the roofing a dishcloth. I have also used bubble wrap and onion and orange bags in my prints.

Second state print.

I then added an aquatint. Aquatints allow tone to be added to a print by progressively blocking out areas that you wish to stay lighter. I use various tools to block out which allows more texture to be added. This is the print at this stage.

Third state print

At this stage, I was happy with the plate and haven’t made any more changes to it.

The final plate

But I still wanted to experiment with the printing. The final print ( at the beginning of the section) uses a variety of coloured inks rubbed into different parts of the plate and a technique called chine-collée on the kimonos. Japanese chiyogami paper was pasted, placed on the kimonos and when the plate went through the press it adheres to the printing paper.

My palate for mixing printing inks which are applied to the plate with small pieces of card.