Thursday, January 30, 2014

The pull of the print - round 3, hot stuff!

I've now taken the experiments from round 2 (which you can read on the blog here) and created new linos with actual images from my sketchbook. Geology inspired drawings!

To the lino etching...

First, I put hot wax on the lino to create my resist. I did drip/pour this in a way that didn't cover the whole plate, so that I had outlines of rocks and cliffs already there. (and yes, I just used an old candle, lol!)

Then I drew directly into the wax with an etching needle. This has to be done very gently so that the wax doesn't just break off. I drew some bedding lines and folded layers. Because the wax is delicate sometimes areas would break so I just worked around that.

Then the fun part! Caustic soda! (always with gloves on) I let the gel mixture sit for about an hour. It eats away areas not covered by wax, including the lines I've drawn.

Then I scrape off most of the gel back into the bowl with cardboard. This means there is less to neutralise on the plate and also gives me a look at how deep the etch is.

Clean the rest of the plate in water with vinegar in it - which neutralises causic soda. I used a toothbrush to scrub the surface and the fabric back to make sure everything was clean.

At this point, with the water and some gentle bending most of the wax just falls off. Any tiny remaining bits can be removed either in hot water or by warm ironing with newspaper on top to absorb the wax. (which is also how you get candle wax out of a carpet - top tip!)

Etched! And drying on the radiator. You can see how deep the caustic soda has eaten away at the lino. The raised area will be inked with a roller and then put through the press.

If you'd like to try etching lino, here is the blog I followed with general instructions:

Next up, printing!

See the coast paintings
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