Sunday, May 26, 2019

Part 2 - Metal plate drypoint - reusing a failed polymer plate

detail from print before hand-colouring application.

this is the second part of a two part post.

A smaller plate was cut from the piece of larger plate I had salvaged in the previous post. A sketch on paper was created that was sized to the plate dimensions of 5 x 8.25 cm (2 x 3.25 in). 

One side of the stainless steel plate was then coated in black using a Sharpie permanent chisel tip marker. When it dried I taped a piece of Saral white transfer paper over top of the plate. A scan had been made from the drawing and it was printed in reverse on a piece of paper using an inkjet printer. I cut the paper leaving a .5 inch beyond the drawing edge so I could tuck and secure it with green masking tape to the underside of the plate. Using a 2H pencil I followed the main lines of my sketch and this transferred the image in white line onto the marker coated plate.

I found that a diamond tip drypoint needle gave the best results for working on a stainless steel surface (due to the hardness of the metal). With metal you will get a deposit of small metal along both sides of the scratched line (this is known as the "burr".) It will create a bit of a fuzzy like quality when ink is wiped onto the plate and printed. As this was a small image a swing-arm magnification lamp was used and with the needle I worked into the plate surface using drawing like movements (like those used when drawing with pen & ink.)
The black marker was then removed by wiping a bit of pure acetone on an old piece of rag over the plate surface.

Then I wiped a some etching ink into the lines to reveal the work better against the shiny metal. I then set a scrap of cotton rag (soaked + blotted) over top, put the paper and plate on the press bed and made a test proof by passing all under the blankets and beneath the roller of an etching press.

The proof revealed that more depth would be required in some areas to produce darker lines.

Lines were deepened with the diamond tip and some more minor details were added.

Once I felt that the surface was ready I re-inked the plate with oil based etching ink and put a piece of  soaked & blotted Magnani 250 gm rag over top then through the press.

After the ink dried I applied colour into the print with washes of diluted acrylic inks.

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