We have already finished five prints of our first plate that we did on Monday and Tuesday. The first zinc plate was a drawing of anything we wanted to do. We also just used needles against the plate.
The process- On Wednesday, he introduced a more complex, new way of making a print, by painting ground (beeswax and petroleum) on top of the zinc plate and then using the needle to sketch our image. After that I placed the zinc plate in a bath of nitric acid. While the zinc plate was surrounded by the nitric acid I used a feather to wipe away any bubbles that may have appeared on the plate. Then after from 2-10 minutes I took the plate out. Then I began the process of putting ink on top of the plate. Once the zinc plate was totally covered by ink I used a (tarlatan) to gently take off the ink that was not in the lines I had sketched. Then I took the piece of paper I had placed in the water bath earlier and blotted it dry. Next I positioned the plate on the press and deposited the moist piece of paper on top of it with a piece of newsprint. Finally I put a few layers of fabric on it and then began turning the wheel, moving the press over my plate. After it had rolled over my whole image, I pulled off the piece of paper and the image on my plate reflected on it. I continued this process for about five more prints.
The image- Our homework the night before had been to collect ten images that inspired us. We brought these to class the next day and Tyler (our instructor) paired us with another person and had us trade photos with each other. With our partner we talked about us, what we liked, what we disliked, and explained why we had chosen the photos we had. I found out that my partner Julian is mainly a photographer, but also a make-up artist, and he likes to cook italian food. With this information I tried to represent the best I could.
This was my first sketch. I drew a modern polaroid camera with poloaroid pictures next to it. Each picture showed something about Julian. Ex: bowl of pasta- likes to cook italian food,
However, my instructor Tyler showed me how it would be easier for the viewer to understand the image if I drew an original polaroid and showed a picture coming out of it with other pictures splayed around it.
Then with this final sketch I used tracing paper to get the image on the tracing paper. Next I placed the tracing paper on top of this red paper, that rested on top of the zinc plate. I then retraced my image on the tracing paper which bled through the red paper, and the red paper left the marks on the zinc plate. Therefore, I was able to have my image drawn on the plate already and all I had to do was use the needle so the lines would become permanent.
This is the image of my finished zinc plate. Where you see those two dark spots, those are two places where I made a mistake and used the ground to un-do the mistake.
This is my first print. I will continue editing the image on my zinc plate.
Will update soon!