First, I've now been volunteering at Tiger Lily Press here in Cincinnati and have been doing monitor nights once a week with another fellow printmaker. Before getting into regular hours, my co-volunteer and I spiffed up some things around the shop: she setting up the screen printing area, and I was arranging a bit in intaglio- all with help from the lovely ladies in charge!
I set up to clean the etching press- a good ole Charles Brand that just needed a little grease, polish, and love. I've learned what I know in this department from the fabulous press repairman, Perry T.
So here is getting set up:
Next a little WD-40 and scrubbing, then grease:
And last, here it is, all shined-up:
Hooray for grease and polish! Also, as mentioned, I learned a new etch for zinc plates from the fabulous folks there; it's called 'Saline Sulfate,' which uses Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate and table salt in equal parts. So say, for a small tray, use 1/2 cup copper and salt each, stir with 2 cups hot water to dissolve, then add 6 more cups of water in the tray. I can give more details on the process to anyone interested.
Here is the chemical- also used as a sewer root killer amongst other things, but best to get the technical grade for etching:
The pretty bath- it changes more to blue after it's been mixed a while and goes clear when it's all spent. It also produces a strange red copper sludge that looks a bit like algae:
And here is the test plate; I was amazed at what fine lines it produces! It can also apparently be used for aluminum and steel, but in slightly different proportions and with different results. I do recall it being a lot more volatile and rough on aluminum, so my favorite is still zinc:
In the midst of etching tests, I have also been very busy printing for the artist I work for, Jay B. He had a recent sale of a portfolio from a few years ago of his woodcut movie, so I had to fill in and supplement prints to complete it. Here I've been working on collating the finished prints:
And proof that I actually printed some of it! Hooray for Krista and I:
It's all stacked up and finished, phew!
I promise I will have more of my own work soon, yes, I swear! I am starting a few things right now. Otherwise, still sewing and also brewing Kombucha, and I am now experimenting with some very needy Jewish sour rye bread. Mmm...we'll see! Till next time...