So… the last few weeks I have been dead set on preparing a stone and printing multiple copies from that stone, letting the prints go from light to dark and gritty. I really want this to work flawlessly but this has proven to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated. I thought it would be so easy and would happen so quickly as with a few of my earlier prints they have started getting all grey and messy when I didn’t want them to. But now that I actually want this to happen it is not going as well as I would have hoped.
My first attempt at this was a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t really work at all. Now I have tried again and I was a bit more successful but I am still not completely satisfied.
This was my initial drawing, with a few fingerprints and smudges here and there. I etched with a nitric acid/Gum etch and was only going to do this one time. Of course I couldn’t help myself as there was a voice in the back of my head whispering “make a perfect print” so I etched the whole thing again with a diluted Atzol etch. Maybe not a huge mistake, but then I made an even bigger mistake. I etched the edges again to get rid of all the fingerprints and smudges that were too obvious. Although I wanted my prints to get dirty throughout the process I still wanted the few initial ones to be nice and neat and it was just a bit too messy to begin with as this is what the stone looked like after etching and ink roll up:
So after cleaning up my edges I started to print using the nap roller and some non drying black. It all went pretty well and the smudges and fingerprints I had etched away even started reappearing after a few prints, the long crack you can hardly see at the bottom of the stone started showing on the prints and a grey veil covered the centre. Success! But as I kept printing I noticed the edges (that I had given a third etch) were staying very clean and that they left a very clear mark. I got a bit frustrated over this but decided to see the printing through, in total I printed 40 copies.
Here are a few prints picked out of the 40, including the first and the last.
It got very dark in the end but if you look closely you can see a bit of a white frame around the bottles, especially in the lower right corner, due to the third etch. This experiment was definitely more successful than my last one but could still be improved to get a more dramatic change. So I guess I have my next project cut out for me next week!