Kit, one of our printmakers, curated an inspiring exhibition of his work in January which attracted many visitors. A big congratulations Kit, from all your fellow Skylark artists!
During his time as featured artist, on a particularly chilly evening, Kit led a talk where he took visitors through the whole fascinating process of intaglio etching, step by step. Skylark Galleries 2 was packed out with a crowd of art lovers all curious to find out more.
He focused on one of his latest etchings, the Blue Neo-Romantic, and how he transferred his original drawing onto a zinc plate, then bit it with acid, in several stages to get varying thicknesses of line, using stop out varnish in between each stage. Then, when finished, how he inked it up and printed (one by one) the first edition of 50 copies! These first 50 were (intaglio) line only. All very time consuming and dangerous with many chemicals!
He then explained that he decided to change the plate by adding tones, in order to create a second edition.
To do this he used a highly toxic resin based product called aquatint which creates an even tone all over the plate. He showed us his test plate where he worked out how many seconds he needed to leave the plate in the acid to create each shade. Very scientific and precise. If he leaves the plate in the acid too long (more than 20 seconds) he has gone too far and the tone gets paler again!
Once all the aquatint biting is finished, he has to clean the remaining resin off the plate to prepare it for printing. He printed a few proofs in different colours before settling on a blue. This edition has only 40 copies.
The artist’s talk ended with several interesting questions from the audience, then a well-deserved round of applause for Kit!