White Ground Etching workshop

During this hectic and unsettling time as we move house, I’ve managed to squeeze in a printmaking workshop to soothe my soul.    Last weekend  was spent “off Island”  in Hobart participating in a white ground etching workshop with Iona Johnson at Hunter Island Press.  A fabulous workshop and steep learning curve as always gleaned from teachings by Iona.   White ground etching (soap ground etching)  is a technique that can be use to create organic printed marks of varying tonal depth.   I have been trying to “loosen up” and become more painterly with my mark making and introduce tone to my work  so I think that this will be a method that I will experiment with and use frequently in my printmaking.  I can imagine  my usual prescise line drawings against energetic, spontaneous, organic, tonal backgrounds.   I am also drawn to this method  as it is less toxic than traditional etching using nitric acid.   We used copper plates as our substrates and white ground as the resist.  We also aquatinted our plates with spray paint and etched them with Edinburgh Etch which is a ferric chloride & citric acid solution.  The white ground resist is a combination of soap flakes, linseed oil, titinium white pigment and water.  The white ground breaks down during the etching process and creates irregular tones.   What a fascinating process with so many possible outcomes and huge scope for experimentation.    Thanks to Iona, Steph and John for another great HIP workshop.

 An interesting Web Link:  Article on White ground etching by Frank Cassara

(If you move you cursor over my photos, there is a brief description of each & you can click on them for a larger view)

The Green Room is no more !!!

Bye Bye Green Room !!  (Not my blog – just my precious little studio space).   I have had to move house and so leave my little studio.  The Green Room has been such a great creative space for me and I’m going to miss it dearly.    I have a new  space that I can set up again at our new place but it is far from ideal for a printmaking studio  ie:  only one window (with a pretty lousy outlook straight into the carport and Bori’s Shed !) poor natural light and not great ventilation.    I am, of course, extremely grateful to have a new space to set up as my studio and I’m sure I’ll cope with it’s undesirable qualities and transform it into a fantanstic new studio space. 

I am going to miss the Green Room and I’m heading over there today to pack up the final few boxes. One of the positives is that it’s been a good opportunity to sort through the oodles of stuff that I’ve managed to squeeze into the  small space of the Green Room.   I’ll continue this blog as Jo’s Green Room from the walls of the new “L shaped, white room”.    I am anxious to get it set up as soon as possible and get on with some white ground etching.