This coming Saturday, December 3rd 2011, from 10 AM to 12 noon, at the Marian Hall, Holy Name Convent (my alma mater), there will be an art sale to raise money for some school renovations. The sale follows on from the art auction that took place earlier this month. Many of the past pupils who are now professional artists have donated work.
I have donated one of a limited edition of etchings. These prints were my first and only experience with etching and it was very enjoyable. A steel plate is covered with a tarry substance, then heated to fix the tar to the plate. Then, taking any sharp implement, you draw your image on the tarry plate exposing the steel underneath. The plate is then put into a bath of acid for a period of time until the acid etches grooves where the lines of your drawing exposed the steel. The plate is then removed from the acid and the tar cleaned off.
Unlike commercial reproduction techniques, artist printmaking techniques (like etching, silk screen, lithography,wood and lino cut) leave room for variation in each print. While the etched surface on the plate remains unchanged, the colours of the inks and the way that the plate is inked up and burnished can create these variation.
Here is an image. The title of the piece is Bamboo and Fern.