Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Think I'm in Love!

As the last member of my family left Monday morning, the door shut behind them leaving me alone with the printing press and the challenge of duplicating my scratchboard of Gurnet Light on press. I realized by Sunday afternoon I would need to break up the larger areas of black in the image in order for it to hold the ink to print better. I opened the scan I had made of the image in Photoshop and applied a mezzotint filter to the problem areas. I output a new transparency and exposed a new Solar Plate. Learning to ink a plate I had been warned is a difficult task in itself. Coercing the ink into the tiny crevices in the plate was hard but wiping off the excess ink without eliminating the desired ink proved tougher. My education of this printing process consists of a few casual conversations and a series of You Tube videos. But I prefer to enter a new medium this way though - blindly. I come out with a better understanding when I've had to work through issues and problems that more than likely could be fairly easily prevented or avoided. By the end of the day, I understood that ink consistency matters greatly, that the paper needs to be damp in order to squeeze into the crevices to find the ink and that increasing the pressure on the press helps too. I'm still learning and the prints are improving.  Now to most of you reading this it probably is gibberish but I'm having such a good time exploring this new medium. Sorry, but you'll probably find me gushing on for the next few weeks as I just ordered new inks and paper.

My best far.


  1. OMG, that is awesome! I'm jealous, I've wanted to learn to etch for, like, 30 years but been daunted by the chemicals. I like your solar plate idea! Your scratchboards are great, too.

    1. Thanks so much - I'm so happy I gave the solar plates a shot. There's definitely some kinks to work out but they are easier to work with than I thought.