Friday, 23 November 2012

Drawing again into wax on a metal plate

I have not made an etching for years. Almost two years ago now I bought a few zinc plates and coated them with hard ground and did a few below average doodles at home but never bothered to get them etched and left them. Recently I've been concentrating on pretty much just one project, a new book, and felt that sometimes I really needed to get away from it (before my head exploded !) and have a rest by doing something completely different, so I started to have another go at those etching plates. They're only quite small, about 6 x 9 cms and I usually work on them through an illuminated enlarging lens.

Using just a dressmaking pin, masking taped to an old pencil, the line you draw is incredibly thin, the minuteness of it all is enticing and you can get quite lost in it's intricacy !

Writing has to be made back to front, something I'm not bad at except S's !

Now for the technical bit ! After you have made your drawing the plate is ready to go into the acid bath to be etched, but prior to this you can paint any parts you don't want etched with a stop out varnish solution. I don't tend to do a lot of this, I see the drawing as a whole live performance with none of the mistakes edited out.

The acid eats into the plate only in the parts where you have made your drawing, where you have scraped away the waxy coating and exposed the metal itself.

The wax coating is removed and the plate is ready for printing but that's another story !

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:King's Rd,London,United Kingdom


  1. Will you be editioning these Rob? I hope so.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Yes I will ! But I don't think they'll be making an official appearance until the new year.

    Thanks for your interest