Friday, February 28, 2014

#169 First Engraving

Hey all! I made my first engraving!
I have wanted to do engraving for a while. It is one of the 
most basic intaglio processes and was ubiquitous in the early modern 
world, but is now one of the least practiced of those print processes.
It is also purty freakin hard, thus the lack of contemporary practice.
I chose to use zinc for my first engraving because it is softer 
and more forgiving than copper, and because it's my party etc.

The engraving is of a wild man by a pollard willow, and I took inspiration 
engravings of wild men (note my borrowed monogram form), Dürer's
subject, and Dürer and Schongauer's engravings of the Flight into Egypt.

I am overall very happy with the print, 
but the experience was not without problems.

Here is the plate. I ended up using the back of the zinc plate because I
messed up the front. The back has this industrial varnish on it, which I
planned to remove later, but it turns out it is pretty insoluble. Removing
the varnish might damage the plate, so I plan on editioning with said varnish
still on. You can also see  where the burin slipped on one of the clouds,
and I tried to burnish it and the varnish lifted a bit.

I was able to print it at Georgetown, with the help of Prof. Scip 
Barnhart, who was super nice, super knowledgeable (especially re: stone 
lithography), super generous, and an all around super guy.

Scip suggested we print the plate relief as well, which I would not 
have thought to do had he not suggested it. It prints surprisingly clear.
I am surprised I have not seen any early modern examples of 
printing intaglio plates in relief. Surely it must have been attempted?