Sunday, December 8, 2013

Soap Ground Detail - Progress Report Five of My Minneapolis

This past week was quite busy with preparations for the Winter Cooperative Exhibition Prints on Ice at Highpoint. But I've inched my way a bit closer to finishing the My Minneapolis print. I worked some more on correcting and adjusting some small things and I think I worked out a solution for the white space in the center of the piece. A few months ago I took a weekend workshop in soap ground etching, which I've been wanting to try out in my work. The soap ground is a mixture of finely grated ivory soap dissolved in water and linseed oil to create a paste. This paste is painted in various dilutions and thicknesses onto the copper and works as a permeable resist to the acid. (The soap ground is the white stuff on the plate; the black figures are stopped out with asphaltum so the acid can't get to them). 

Where the ground is really thin, the acid will get through to the copper quicker than in areas where the gound is painted on thickly. The result is a wonderful painterly effect. This is my first proof of the result of the soap ground. 

I softened the edges around the soap ground a bit, but I still have to see if this part of the image fits with the rest of the print. I wanted to give the figure some sky or cloud backdrop so they're not simply floating in empty space under the Dale Chihuly chandelier sun (Sunburst). The figures that are white in this proof will later be printed with the key plate. Anyways, a few more days of editing and proofing. I hope by the end of this week I can make the first few prints of the edition. Keep your fingers crossed.

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