Friday, May 16, 2014

The Large Gears Plate: A Progession of the States

I finished the large gears intaglio plate last week and will be doing an edition soon. Before I start working on an edition, I wanted to show the "states" that were made to get to the final intaglio. I talked about some of the process in my last post but here you can see all eleven states.

States in printmaking are permanent changes to the plate (matrix) made by the artist. A print pulled during each state change records the changes the image undergoes. I usually pull at least two, sometimes three prints for each state change. I use them for reference and sometimes I draw on them directly or put them in the copy machine and work on the image that way.

When you put all the states together, you can see the progression of changes the artist has done to the plate. In my case, the changes include adding lines (line etching)  or tonal areas (aquatint), scraping and burnishing (lightening or erasing previously etched areas), and adding new marks to improve the composition.

The first and second states. 

The third and fourth states

The fifth and sixth states
At this point, I pulled another sixth state print, took a peek on the press bed and it was a bit light. So I re-positioned it and ran it back through the press to pick up more ink. It became misaligned and wasn't a good print; however, it gave me an idea. I loved the way the off-set image created "shadows". 
Screwed-up sixth state image- inspiration can come for anywhere!

So I added a medium grey aquatint to the plate. 
Check out the next states. 

The seventh and eighth states showing a major change- the shadows.

The ninth and tenth states

The last state, number eleven
The very last state shows the final, deeply etched aquatint I added to give more definition to the composition. It shows up as deep black with slight embossing that gives it a three-dimensional quality to the print. The plate is 10x10" square and will probably be printed on warm white Hahnemuhle Copperplate paper. I love this paper for this image since the plush texture and absorbent quality enhances the deeply etched areas of aquatint.

Look for more information on the edition soon!

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