Monday, March 31, 2008

lots of work, no results

This last week has been a lot of work with no results! After editioning both of the plates that I had ready to go before my press came, last week provided the opportunity to begin developing new plates. I have 3 small portrait plates in the works, in addition to continuing work on the portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi (I think I'm almost finished; may have pics later in the week) and preparing to start the second image in that series, Rachel Carson. However, none of these things are really at the photographing state, so as far as this blog goes, there are no results quite yet.

I also have decided to try and submit to a few print exhibitions. I have 2 in mind so far, both of which have a deadline in May, so I'll need to begin at least 2 prints for that. I have a few sketches of content ideas, but I haven't done any work for that other than actually ordering the plates and researching the exhibitions a bit. I'm not very hopeful about my chances of being accepted, as this is my first few months of serious printmaking, but I am enthusiastic about the process and ready to learn all I can to come back next year and maybe make the cut!

I've been struggling a bit with aquatinting. (Aquatinting, for those who aren't familiar with the process, is a technique in which a fine grain of acid resist is applied to a plate to create a uniform tone over large areas, instead of lines.) I have a few lung issues which make me quite afraid to use rosin, which is the traditional way aquatint is achieved. Rosin is very bad for lungs, and I don't have the capacity to safely handle rosin here at home. I've used spray paint a few times, which is okay but the lack of control over the grain has been quite frustrating to me. I read somewhere online that some success in duplicating aquatint can be had by pressing castor sugar into soft ground and then dissolving it away in water... I'll be experimenting with that this week and will post results. I really hope it works!

Since I have no printmaking photos, here's a photo of henna instead. I did this one last fall. ;)



Amie Roman said...

Sometimes art stuff goes like that!

Is BIMPE one of the exhibitions you're considering? It's worth it - because even if you don't get into the show, they've got a "salon de refuses" which will still be available for potential buyers to see. You never know!

Beth said...

Amie, yes, BIMPE is one I'm hoping to enter. This may sound weird, but I love the idea of a "salon de refuses"! How cool. I'm hoping to make it up to see the show whether or not I can get a submission in.

Anonymous said...

i also hate spraypaint aquatents. i have just gotten the materials and equipment to try the acrylic based grounds and use air brush to apply aquatents that way. not sure if you have ever considered it but it could be a more lung friendly method for doing aquatent at home. and not in a major studio space

Beth said...

Dangeln, I love the idea of airbrushed aquatint! It seems like that method would offer a great deal of control over coverage density... very cool. I haven't used it because I don't have an airbrush, and know nothing about airbrushing.

I'm hoping the sugar thing works for now :)

eraethil said...

I've been thinking about entering in an exhibition for the first time as well. The one I'm considering first is the Edmonton Print International, but the deadline is this month...

Thanks for blogrolling me! I've done the same with your blog now that I've had some time. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello what type of press is it?
a 12'' by 24'' inch?

can you post bigger pictures of your press , and i like to ask you about the wheel & shaft is it welded or how does the knob that holds the spoks, how is it atacht to the roll shaft? if it is not welded.

i ask this because i'm thinking about buying one of these Conrad Presses

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