Thursday, September 25, 2008


Cygnet. Etching. 9x12" approx.

This etching was inspired by my daughter, who, like so many teenagers felt inadequate and unnattractive even though they are anything but.
This was an image responding to the "ugly duckling" theme... the swan who will one day emerge as a beautiful creature.

The reversed image is a kind of reflection, a metaphor for both my daughter's and my own.

Technically the image was executed as a typical line drawing with a stylus through ground, etched, and then in a second stage, a spray-paint "aquatint" method was employed. This involves etching the plate, and painting out lighter areas successively with asphaltum, to achieve a series of gradations in tone. The longer the exposure to acid, the deeper the pores in the plate, which hold ink for printing.

In this print, two tones of intaglio ink were rubbed into the plate with tarlatan. A rainbow colored charged roller was rolled over the surface. The plate was then placed on the press bed, wet paper was placed over that, under blankets and all were rolled through the press under great pressure. This forced the wet paper to pick up the inks, both on the surface and in the crevasses. Pulling the print paper away, carefully, resulted in an intaglio print.

If anyone has questions about process, please use this blog to ask, and I will answer. I promise not to use any information left on my site for anything other than contacts about my own shows, new work, etc.

About 25 etchings were made, each with a different color combination. I am not able to use my press at present, but I do offer limited editions of giclee reproductions of my etchings for those who relate to the images. These are printed with archival inks on heavy matte paper made for
printing art.

All art images and writing are property of Ruth Zachary.

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