Sunday, July 03, 2011

Etching Process & Sale!

I finally got all my etchings listed in my online shop and now at a reduced price.
They are listed at 50% their original price!  Check out all my available etchings here.


Each print is made from etched copper, inked by hand and then run through a printing press. It is a labor intensive process but I love this old school way of printing.

I first learned the method in college and then did a printmaking residency here at the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska. I wish I had better progress photos, but I do have a few photos to help explain the printing (making the plate itself is a whole other ball game which involves a waxy ground, needle to draw your image, solution to etch the image, and then aquatint techniques to achive the different value ranges.)

Here I am hand inking a little plate. Basically ink is applied and rubbed into the little groves of plate. Then the surface is wiped clean so the only ink left is in the etched lines I wish to print.

Then the plate is placed on the press bed, a damp piece of printmaking paper is placed over the copper plate, and then blankets are put over the top. Then the whole thing is run through the press, applying pressure to the paper so that it picks up the ink in the grooves of the plate.

Avard's Mysterious Selection, 3 x 4 inches, Etching & Aquatint, © Nicole Gustafsson 2008

The final result is an image with different values achieved though one ink pass. If you wanted a multi-colored print you would need another plate for each color you wanted. This is a traditional method for having multiple copy's of the same image. If you wanted a 1000 images of a picture you would have to go though inking, wiping, and printing each time (hence why I keep my edition numbers low)!

If I do any more etchings I'll be sure to take better photos of the process, but that's the basic idea!

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