Etching and Carborundum Printing Process BETTY WINKLER Biddington's Home & Search
Betty Winkler etching with carborundum Meditation G

Printmaking Notes

Etching and Carborundum Print
"Meditation G" by Betty Winkler

Platemaking Method Using 2 Plates:
1) Brown Plate--aquatint on copper
2) Yellow Plate--carborundum on plexiglas

Betty Winkler Meditation G
Etching & Carborundum Print
1) Brown Plate:
This plate is made first using aquatint, a method that lets the printmaker achieve a tonal range. Where the acid-resist sticks to the plate, the acid does not bite, or etch, it. On this plate, I employed aquatint in consecutive etches using lump rosin as the acid-resist melted directly on the heated plate to draw organic strokes. Using varying width of strokes with each new aquatint, I created varying tones.

On the lighter upper portion of this plate, most of the series of etches incorporated white ground on top of the aquatints. My desire was to to cause a lighter etch in the mid and upper portions of this plate.

The next step on this plate was to spit-bite overall on the aquatint. Spit-bite is an etch done by painting highly concentrated acid directly onto the prepared copper plate. I used the spit-bite mostly in the middle to upper portions of this plate; also, a little in the lower areas to soften the gradations from light to dark.

2) Yellow Plate:
On this plate I used carborundum. Carborundum is a mineral, often found in powdered form, that is used as an abrasive in printmaking. When mixed into a paste with glue it can be easily painted on a flat plate. When dry & hard, the paste will hold inks and can be printed many times in a standard etching press. Inking, wiping & printing of the plate is done the same as standard etching techniques.

For this plate, I used a very fine carborundum powder mixed into an acrylic medium and painted on plexiglas, looking through to a copper plate placed underneath.

My colors are recipes using Charbonnel inks printed onto Hahnemuhle paper. The printing order for this piece is the yellow plate first--because I want those colors to float on top--and brown plate, with its darker tones, second.

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