This past weekend I taught a class on photo etching. I always like to begin my classes with one or more demos for my students; for no matter how much I explain the process nothing clarifies it like showing how it’s done. When choosing an image to use for a demo, I like to pick one that has all the properties needed to highlight the uniqueness of the process: good contrast and design, interesting texture and above all the possibility for creating that vintage quality so particularly suited to a photo etching.
The photograph for the etching above had these qualities in spades. However, there are no guarantees of success and until the plate is made and the print is inked and pulled off the press you never quite know what you will achieve. The element of surprise is high with printmaking. It is one of the most challenging but also exciting aspects of this medium. Nothing is as satisfying as the moment of the “reveal”, when you see the results of all your hard, and hopeful, labour.
The reveal on this print was one of those wonderful moments when you are especially pleased with your results, not only for having made a lovely print but for having created something that amazed your students and got them excited to begin pulling their own prints.
And what amazing prints they pulled! You can see some of their wonderful creations here.
Thank you to all my students for a fabulous weekend of fun, creative energy.
Radar Hill, a 3.5″ x 5″ photopolymer gravure etching, is offered this week at $70 unframed.