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Technical Methods Week 6

Etching Aquatint

I learnt aquatint today another first, after cutting and prepping my plates I put them in the aquatint booth for 5 min, I then treated a silkscreen, transferred my image onto the screen and then printed Bitumen on the plates this transferred my image from the screen to the plate and will protected my plate from the acid, they were left to cure over night.

I covered the back in tape to protect it from the acid, I left the copper plate in Ferric chloride for 25 minutes and left the Steel In Nitric Acid for 25 min, rinsed them in water and then washed off the Bitumen with mentholated spirit and then white spirit.

Aqua tint on copper


Even though I used the same image on all 5 plates they have come out completely different, some have a heavier aquatint then others, the image is more interesting then I thought it would be, I’ve seen what I can do with aqua tint and how I can keep re working and distorting my image, then putting it back in the acid and then finally print it.

above image Aqua tint print

Below image Aqua tint print

Lino Etch

I silk screened my image onto the Lino using a retarder, when dry I covered the Lino in caustic soda and left for 15 min but it was not long enough so I left it for a further 10 min, I then washed off the caustic soda and retarder. And printed the images.

This process is really unpredictable and the Caustic soda has picked up the marks from my brush and has completely distorted the image. I like this on the Lino

Above image etched lino


the prints however are not as interesting, I don’t feel I achieved a clear print on either plate, which was disappointing.

Above image lino etch print

On reflection If I did this again I would be more selective about where the caustic soda was applied, so that not all of my image was distorted, this would also result in more variation in tone.

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