etching (continued)

so, where were we? oh yes! I remember. . .

the seven plates, each of a simple image consisting initially of a few etched lines only - together a progression - were ready to be inked up and printed. . .

the inking up took almost three hours. . . I should have stuck to my original plan, to do a test print in black, just to see how the lines worked and then decide where I want to add texture (there are other techniques for adding visual texture to your image)

but I got carried away by the thought of colour! so I worked across the seven images trying to make sense of the lines (what was water? what was a tide pool? what was a shingle bank?)

this took far longer than it ought to have done. . .

because of all the really annoying irritating people
who take the class on a Thursday
and seem to spend their whole morning asking me what I am doing. . .
I am only there for the morning, so do not have this luxury
(altho I do ask the real artists the odd question)
and I especially don't like the short-temperedness it brings out in me

(*deep breath*)

eventually, with ten minutes to go, I was ready to print

when printing from an etched plate onto paper, you have to first dampen your paper (this has something to do with the ink taking better to the paper if the paper is damp) and then you have to blot your paper (it can't be too damp, you see - you can tell by looking at the surface of the paper if it is too damp) (it's special etching printing paper, called Somerset Velvet) (I'm sure you can print onto other types of paper, but it's a learning curve and I'm at the bottom at the moment) .

I can't work out how to rotate the photo 90 degrees anti-clockwise, so you'll have to tip your head to the right to look at this. . .

however, the mistake I made

mine, I made it, the mistake
but partly because I was being rushed at the press
by one of the really annoying irritating people
who kept asking me questions
and staring over my shoulder at what I was doing
in a very invasive manner
so I lost my concentration
(I don't know where it went - but I lost it)
(only my concentration, thank goodness)


was not to remember that the print comes out left-to-right-reversed. . .

. . .I forgot

hence the set of images doesn't work for me - they are supposed to show the tide going out, receding to reveal shingle banks from which mere tide pools emerge as the tide has gone fully out - from left to right - as you look at the print; you know, the way the Western brain looks at everything left to right? that's how we scan a set of images too. . . so, in the following, the seventh section on the far right is supposed to be the first on the far left, with the others from right to left following from left to right. . .


(also, there's not quite enough ink on on the two plates with the tide at its highest) (in the above image, the two on the right) (and, in retrospect, even at this stage, I wish I'd kept the water clean of ink and coloured the shingle. . .)

but, then again, I only wanted a test print to see if the lines of the water/shingle/shore work, so if I can look at it from that point of view, it's OK; and because of the nature of an etched print, I can actually add in the missing colours by painting with ink

however, I guess the beauty of etching is that I have the plates, and I can try again next time. . .


KAZ said...

I would love to try this - though , like you, I just hate it when someone is looking over my shoulder and their body language is saying 'get on'.
I really try not to do that to others by thinking of something relaxing and gazing into middle distance.

I, Like The View said...

I can't do anything with anyone looking at me

has proved quite awkward at times! (especially typing, I can never type when anyone is within viewing distance of the keyboard)

I really need to work on keeping my irritability in check, and focus on doing what I'm there to do

and getting it right!

etching is fab tho. . . I'd recommend it

Sorrow said...

Once upon a time i had a really awesome instructor, who was teaching us Shibori. She was marvelous in the way she explained the process the way we needed to work and to be.
The fellow students however were HORRID.
full of egos and invading spaces, and negativity about everything ( including the way my coffee smelled.. seriously )
I loved that class, but remembered those students with a deep sense of " Dear God, don't ever let me allow myself to behave like that..pretty please!"
sorry about the prints, I am sure that they would be lovely a second go round!
( and perhaps a photo that we can click on to see it larger? hint hint?)

I, Like The View said...

I'm so glad it's not just me!

was thinking that I was getting all itsy about nothing. . . well, more that I ought to have been able to manage my -ve feelings rather than have them surface into bad behaviours. . . some of them are so annoying - make me want to be really assertive in a rude way, because they're so dense they don't take a polite assertive hint

and then I think "maybe that'll be me in 10-20 years time" and I get even more annoyed with myself. . .

part of what it is is that I'm the "new girl", but I do have my bookbinding experience, so I can handle the techniques, but I'm not limiting myself to doing the basics

they were all fascinated by the fact I was doing these seven little plates. . . like it had never occured to any of them to do anything other than a kind of regular painting type image; but ten+ people coming up and asking the same questions over and over got a tad annoying eventually; and, because they are more experienced than I am, the way they phrase their questions is so annoying

"are you really sure that you're not overstretching your abilities?" "you only started last term!" "what a complicated project. . ." "how adventurous, for a beginner. . ." "that would make such a good textile image - have you ever thought of producing textile images?" (the latter said in a kind of sneery way, about my trees image, as if it wasn't a good image to be etching)


it's either me or them

perhaps it is me! maybe I'm just annoyed generally and it's coming out there


the thing is, I hoped it would be stimulating but relaxing

only it's not relaxing - I almost dread going now. . .


look at me, yabbering on


I only took a quick photo of the print when it came out of the press - it's now drying flat and I'll get it back after half term

I, Like The View said...

I'm annoyed, aren't I?!

Rimshot said...

odd, to be someone who doesn't want to be looked at or noticed and yet that same someone joins a musical group and gets up on stage. odd

I, Like The View said...

Friday the Thirteenth strikes

Mel said...


Some people's kids, eh?

I'm not so keen on anyone being that close to me, let alone inspecting and critiquing my work as I go.

That'd do it for me.

But I have this thing about personal boundaries.
I have a rather big 'bubble' that I consider 'MY' space.
Now, granted, that changes with the company and the circumstances.

It always gets 'interesting' when we have trainers come in to talk about 'personal spaces' for the kiddos we work with and the exercises we go through to establish our own 'space' with the people in the training.

When it comes my turn, my crew tells the trainers to walk out the door and go about sixty paces backwards.

Yup. That's about right. LOL

And while you might not like the results of your print, I gotta say I DO.

I think it's awesome!!!

But I'm odd and do some things right to left. *shrugs*

Even if I didn't--

WAY cool!!!!!!

katherine. said...

totally way cool !!!

I'm not fond of people questioning me either. I am not as nice about it however.

painstakingly intriguing

Mel said...

Yup......came for another look.

MY mistakes should look so good.

mig said...

It's annoying for you but it works fantastically well as an image. (Annoyingly :)
Those kinds of comments would make me curl up and frizzle at the ends. I guess the answer is along the lines of 'Nothing ventured nothing gained' and 'In a learning experience, one should always attempt to make the fullest possible use of everything you are offered. Such a waste to hang back and use your imagination and the skills you are learning in a miserly way' and 'You should try not to be too timid to go the whole hog from time to time'.

Well, I am stunned and delighted by the boldness and courage with which you tackled your idea and the skill with which you handled the technique to produce such an adventurous and successful result.
I'm also hugely impressed that I thought to myself when I saw those earlier sketches "they ought to be etched or printed in some way".
Actually, they'd be very exciting printed on fabric too but that's a whole 'nother ball game.

Now I'm going to look at the next (previous post and enjoy that :)
xxx and hugs, oh talented and clever one.

I, Like The View said...

mig the lovely shot photochopped it for me, so now I have an image of them in the right order. . . I'll see if blogger will let me show you that, so you can see the progression in the correct order. . .(the tide pools would be doing different things is the tide had been coming in, not going out)

and thank you, Mrs Talent herself, for your wonderfully supportive comments


Mel see, I already haven't sent you (nor mig) the original etching I was planning (haven't made it to the post office) when I took part in sorrow's PIF project, and now I'm thinking I should get this print right and send it to you instead! that'll motivate me to get past the sniffy comments on a Thursday. . .

Katherine for almost the whole of the three hours I sat there thinking "this would be so much more simple if I were just doing it in b/w" (whilst everyone was saying "how complicated - inking up in all those colours")

so it was painstaking. . . but I do like the intruiging results!