Electroetching: Easy, Precise and Very Clean Process

Baking Station The jargon for electroetching is “baking” while ferric acid (Copper) and/or nitric acid (Zinc) etching is called “frying”. Etching is somehow analogous to cooking. Cooking plates, creating a harmonic grayscale as flavours for our eyes. It does take a bit longer to electroetch plates. The compensation is into working on other tasks while the plate is placed at a very controlled “current,” to remove particles of copper to shape the desired composition. Controlled stops outs are always advisable to extend the range of tonalities.

I have been applying as stop-out a mix of Gum Arabic and Cobalt Blue pigment. Love the creamy texture to protect the exposure and contour the open bite parts. Plate preparation is a ritual meant to offer the best contact between the plate and the Copper hooks. Therefore, achieving the ideal current levels between 0.5 and 0.8 and related voltage @ 0.7 and keeping the voltage at this maximum range is important. Every 15 to 20 minutes, I remove the plate from the copper sulfate bath and work on the stop-outs again.


It was by change that I discovered Electrotint as a substitute for Aquatint. Pleasantly surprised by the results of simple and direct “open bite.” The blacks and grays just were there! After my husband and I finished renovating one floor of our 1882 Victorian at Kensington Market, Toronto, Lotus and Spice printmaking studio started a new creative cycle. Access to an environment friendly copper electro-etching station, and a Mercury Exposure System made possible to work with Intaglio, Photo-Intaglio and relief printmaking techniques. The product of a fusion of photography and Intaglio (Etching) technologies also allows seeing and processing images in a different way by offering unprecedented resolution and control over light and shadow.


Using digital tools and photo-sensitive film it is possible to incorporate those interchanged functions provided by analogical and digital technologies alternatively. The actual shifter is turning towards the intimacy of the image. Composition of Objects on moody lights. I am interested on domestic private spaces that transcends the simplicity of life daily rituals. The truth is that the use of digital technologies really has affected the way I pursue the subject/object. The distance between the physical reality of the subject and the processed image increases. The image adds its own narrative, shimmering glow, reflecting its digital derivation. The image becomes so independent that it asks for repetition, familiarity with shapes and volumes. The image reproduces itself in lights, colors and materials. By experiencing on digital imaging I was lead to explore the same image repetitive times. For the last three (3) months I have been working on this Violin Girl and the Voyeur Series of paintings and prints.


This entry was posted in Art, Electroetching, Printmaking.

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