Throughout this year I have been working in the Thames-Side Print Studios with the etching studio technician Nick Richards and others. Nick has taught me the photo etching process.
Ultimately I have gained more tips by working with many professional artists in a compact space like the print studio, where everyone is together printing. Each of the artists lay down what they know in order for the others to thrive as well. Nick the printmaker that helped me through and through, taught me about the acids, taught me about how and what each metal etches like and the periods of time through the whole process, for example, 11.0 light seconds in the light box, 30 mins, broken with minute intervals every 10 mins in the nitric acid.
Barton Hargreaves, the screen printing technician helped me to choose the right metal for the right kind of print.
I found most of the process to be therapeutic, once you get into the rhythm of how the process works. One of the only dilemmas was that I was working with such large plates of steel, tiny mistakes could cost me the plate and paper (about £15) which it did twice.
I had to work systematically and not rush anything. Another dilemma was that because of the size, when I printed the graphic on acetate, I was left with a lot of pixels on the graphic, which I had to scratch off when the graphic was on the plate with a burnishing tool, this was the longest part of the process and took the most time, although it did give a good feel to my work, to go through manual sketches, into digital manipulation, then manually scratching out the pixels and manually printing the piece, it gave a good mix of analogue and digital to each piece.