Last weekend a friend gave me 2 etched solar plates. The designs are from her own photographs, collaged and transferred to acetate and then to the print plates. She asked if I could print the images for her to use for a handmade book she is making as a gift.
I knew she would be looking for earthy colours, especially as the images depict native seedpods but I quickly realised the limitation of my etching inks – I don’t own as many colours as I thought. So some creative colour mixing came into play.
To check the quality of the etching I did a trial on 110gsm dampened cartridge paper using Charbonnel raw sepia etching ink.
A couple of things became apparent. Firstly, the plate has a lack of definition in some areas and the ink won’t grab. It’s an old plate so may have been printed extensively in the past and some areas are worn, or perhaps they didn’t fully etch initially.
Secondly, I’m not thrilled with the sepia but it may well still work when colour mixed.
I was after a russet red but don’t have enough colours to mix it. The two outer samples above aren’t bad – the sepia has been improved – but it’s not what I was hoping for.
I moved from a sepia/red mix to a sepia/green/olive mix and I’m pretty happy with the results. While I had the colours prepared I printed the large solar plate, which grabbed the ink much better.
Super happy with these and they look much better in real life than in the photos. So I’ll be handing them over tomorrow. Fingers crossed that she likes them.
All pieces were printed using Charbonnel etching inks on 130gsm Magnani Pescia Editions Wove Book Paper (100% cotton).