Tag Archives: Etching

Untitled Etchings from 1987

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Still excavating the loft for pieces of artwork from the distant past. This set was made at Winchester School of Art. Originally I only made a couple of sets but subsequently print about another four. All went out into the world except one set which I still have.

They are fairly traditional since plate etching with aquatint but use a process of transferring photocopied photographs from paper by dissolving the copier toners using acetone.

The images come from various sources such as personal photographs, photographs taken from the TV and images copied from newspapers.
They also use t technique called Chine Colle (pasted tissue) to isolate areas within the images.

These include Enoch Powell as a necromancer, a girl called Sue and Edwina Curry, a revolution in an unnamed South American country, two religious leaders looking star struck, a cadaverous Willie Brandt and a baby, various actors and actresses in popular frame of the time, a fashion model and a Maoist, the Troubles in Norther Ireland.

Some might remember the pre Internet age when the flow of information was less multi faceted and more linear. These pieces, together with some other works of the time tried to bring threads together but with out any particular narrative or imposed opinion.

The sequence was untitled as far as I can recall.

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Barcelona 1986

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28 years ago I was at Winchester School of Art studying printmaking & fine art. That covered screen printing, traditional lithography, etching, relief printing, letterpress and to some degree photography. It was fun. I lost my finger prints to strong chemicals and had a professional introduction to the uplifting possibilities of industrial solvents. I’ve no doubt in was a Health & Safety nightmare that is consigned to history unless you have extensive insurance.

One of the many other good things about WSA was the travel opportunities. Twice a year they took virtually the entire faculty to some exotic and educational location. I managed Paris, Moscow & Leningrad (as it was then) and Madrid & Barcelona.

Barcelona-Series

The piece here is from Barcelona. I took some zinc plates with soft ground resist on and little card frames with newsprint covers, all bound into a little book with masking tape. If you drew on the paper the resist came away from the plates so that the line would etch when immersed in acid. They are only a couple of inches square so the sketches were immediate, complete in a minute or so. Not unlike traditional photography the final result only really showed it self post processing and printing.

The cover image was lino cut and the text plate printed on a small Adana Letterpress. Proper print making. I even purchased paper from an ancient art shop in the back streets of the city to tie the project down.

When we flew home the Spanish customs officer wanted to know what the little heavy block of metal was for. He rubbed his fingers over the drawings and prodded them. It didn’t seem to have a detrimental effect.

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Etching

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Occasionally an app comes along that resonates. In the distant history of my life I had real skills in printmaking. From lithography, screen printing, collography to woodblock I could use drawing and manual labour to make pictures on paper. In the realm of etching I was well versed in aquatint, mezzotints, soft & hard grounds, intaglio and dry point.
I studied Picasso, Bonnard, Goya, Miro & Durer to aspire to iconic illustrative technique.

There’s now an app for that….

Its not real, it’s doesn’t rely on skill but it looks great. I may never use another app again, until well into next week. These are a few of my etched up pics.

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This is from our little Nativity, nativing under our tree…

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@f1fanwmm looking slightly mysterious….

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Our tree hanging Santa on a dollarific frame….

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…and finally my little eye, a recent attempt at a self portrait in front of the last real painting I tried to complete.

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