Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Work Work

Hello there. All sorts of things have happened since the last post, but mostly just plain getting to work, which feels good, very good.
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...

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