I decided that I wanted to try and attempt different ways of putting my collages onto metal. I found myself spending most of my workshop time in the darkroom frightening our technician every time she pulled back the curtains. Photo etching is something which intrigues me. I like the way in which, just like creating collages, it’s an unpredictable process and something which takes time to learn. You have to learn the right length of time to exposure an image for and the length of time to leave the finished exposure in the acid for. Every image is different and you won’t always get it perfect but often you’ll create a really cool effect. All trial and error really.
I began to transfer my images this way but after exposing and etching my images, I just couldn’t get the plates to turn out the way I wanted. My aim is to create etched plates which I can then use to create prints. I tried different types of metals and different types of etching methods (both the spray rota tanks and the nitric acid) but I just couldn’t achieve a deep enough etch.
This pushed me to seek further guidance which then led me to print making unit. Where, basically, my dreams became reality in the form of their etching facilities. After some persistence, the technicians taught me how to use the facilities and how to get the plates right using Photoshop and playing around with the dark and light tones.
In addition to these two methods of printmaking, I have also used the laser cutter to see what type of printing block I could achieve from this. However, after lasering into the wood, I decided I like the burnt out effect which the laser created in the wood so I just left it at that. Creating a more mysterious effect to the image.
My aim is to now create colour samples based on the ink drawings in my sketchbook and the prints which I have been creating. I want the prints to be in black and white and the pieces in bright colours to create a contrast between ‘good’ dreams and nightmares. Something positive, amongst chaos.