Reviving what is lost

A couple of months back I tried re-sensitizing a stone for the first time. It was something I had been thinking about for a long time, something about this process really speaks to me. I think it is the uncertainty and loss of control over the stone and the image that appeals to me so much.

We have a word in Icelandic that I think applies very well here, the word is ‘æðruleysi’. I don’t know the English translation for it but it means to accept whatever happens with serenity, that you have to give yourself up to a higher power and accept the things that are out of your control. I find this loss of control very liberating.

So I wanted to keep re-sensitizing. I noticed that last time the areas of the older drawing that were covered with water tusche printed a lot stronger than all the other areas and so I set out to investigate this a bit further. I took one of my old stones that I hadn’t grained yet and splashed it with water tusche.


Before splashing the tusche I had cleaned the stone with oil patch cleaner and flushed it with acetic acid as I wasn’t planning on using it. Regardless the image seemed to be there still but I didn’t etch it before the first roll up as the whole thing was a bit unstable and I didn’t want it all to disappear.


After the roll up. The old image was coming up fine but I noticed that there was a strange pattern on the tusche, like marks from a cloth or a brush. I think these are probably from the oil patch cleaner and so the tusche didn’t have it’s usual charming pattern. I gave it a water etch to lighten it a bit so it wouldn’t fill in.


And then printed some proofs.


As with the earlier stone the areas under the tusche came out very strong while the rest was very light. I am finding this process very fascinating and I am now thinking of ways I can further experiment with it.

It seems to bring new life to something that is otherwise lost.


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