Location: 0C15b, C-Block, Bower Ashton
Staff: David Sully and Gillian Garnica
The area offers the principle range of intaglio printmaking techniques including copper plate etching with both hard and soft ground wax resists, rosin based aquatint, photo resist etching and embossing with photo polymer plates. Students can also undertake collograph and carborundum printing using a variety of
There are two Rochat etching presses and a star wheel press. These enable flexibility with regard to size of paper or plate. The larger Rochat press accomodates a paper size of 120 x 80cms.
Ferric Chloride is used to etch copper plates. This is undertaken within purpose built fume cupboards in a self contained process room.
Copper plate etching
Acid resistant grounds are applied with a roller with the aid of a hot plate. In the case of hard ground, the surface is reinforced with a layer of soot using wax tapers.Drawing is undertaken using a needle point, revealing the area to be bitten in Ferric Chloride. The incised lines are then filled with ink and hand wiped.
Dampened paper is placed in contact with the plate and ran through the press. This exerts great pressure to transfer the drawn image on to the paper.
Rosin based aquatint
Aquatint is the principle way to apply an area of tone to the plate. A resin is applied to the plate surface by placing it within an aquatint box. Fine dust particles of rosin aquatint are bonded on to the plate. This enables a fine texture to be etched that will hold ink. The tonal range is determined by the time it is immersed in Ferric Chloride.
Embossing using photo polymer plates
Photo polymer plate is most commonly used to emboss text or image onto a variety of substrates such as paper, card, book covers, leather etc….The plate has a polymer coating that hardens when it is exposed to a U.V. light source. A design can either be embossed [so it is raised], or debossed [indented], according to the original artwork used.
A film positive, printed from the laser printer is contacted onto the plate, [in mirror image], and placed in the exposure unit. The exposure fixes the image, so when it is washed out, in warm water, a relief structure is cut into the plate surface.
The plate is then ran through the etching press under extreme pressure. This forces the paper into the plate’s recesses, thereby changing the structure and resulting in an embossed surface.