To resensitize a stone

I have wanted to learn how to resensitize a stone that I’ve already started working on since we started our fellowship. The reason for resensitizing is so you can add more work on a stone that you have already drawn on and etched. Usually you would grain the image completely off to start a new one as the stone doesn’t pick up added work very well after you have etched it. But there is a way you can keep the old work and draw on top of it by using Acetic acid.

Here is the technical info for those who are interested in that sort of stuff:

Using a 25% strength Acetic acid solution we (mostly Serena though):

  • rinsed of any gum and dried the stone
  • flushed the stone with the acid solution
  • rinsed with ample water
  • repeated

So after doing this the image on the stone is somewhat preserved but definitely has been through a lot and so it won’t come out as strong as before when printed. But to preserve it even better you should french chalk and roll up the stone twice before resensitizing. As this was just a trial thingy for me we didn’t roll up the stone before which actually turned out quite good in the end as the new image was the main focus of the print.

Now, as I was so excited about the whole process I didn’t take any photos until I was finished drawing my image. I used a stone that had belonged to someone else and didn’t even pick the stone as Serena had already chosen the lucky candidate, but it had all sorts of little squares on it with different patterns.I was very inspired and I drew a cat eating McDonald’s chips and farting hamburger farts with a frog on his back.

L1030014 copy

They were pretty cute.

So when drawing this second layer of image it is supposed to be best to use quite greasy things like soft crayons or turpsy tusche rather than lighter crayons or water tusche as it probably won’t come out as strong as on a fresh stone. I did a bit of everything to see what would happen. You also have to give it a lighter etch then ususally so I just put gum on my light water tusche and a weak nitric acid etch on the rest.

L1030038 copy

Here it is on our new lithography press that I was also using for the first time. It is a splendid press!

L1030037 copy

Here is my ink and tools as well as three proofs.

L1030033 copy

And here is a lovely print, everything printed splendidly, even the water tusche. I am very pleased with the outcome and the whole working process actually, it was very enjoyable. It was interesting to see how the older image would come out very well in the spots where I had put my water wash, it is like it reinforced the old ink.

I named the print Verði þér að góðu góðu, in reference of Icelandic Súm artist Þórður Ben Sveinsson’s sculpture titled Góðan daginn, góðan daginn from 1969. Which is one of my all time favorite works of art.



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