Mezzotint Printmaking – Start to Finish. Systems of Control, Part 2

Hi welcome back to Diode Press and part two
of this print. If you missed part 1, here’s a link. So we left off the last video ready to run
a proof of the plate and see how things are looking. So before I can ink up the plate,
I have to cut out these three small squares of paper to Chine-collé onto the plate, which
means to glue them down while at the same time printing the plate. Now I mix up some black Akua intaglio ink
and stiffen it up a little bit with some Akua Mag Mix. I use a piece of card stock to gently
apply the ink to the plate, and wipe the plate. I’ll be uploading a video soon detailing
this a bit more. I line up the plate on the press bed and make
sure the little plastic pieces line up properly. The last step before printing is to add some
Nori Paste to adhere the small paper squares, then I line them up glue side facing up. I’ve had my paper soaking for about an hour,
so I blot it off on a clean towel and then line it up on the paper and run it through
the press. So here is the first proof. The plate still
needs work, but honestly I don’t like the grey paper squares, or the debossing of the
paper. The plastic was so thin it hardly shows up, and even less so on camera! So I’m putting a new plastic sheet on my
template, and making the legs out of thicker mat board as a base. So I cut them out and
fit them to the plate. Trimming as required for a clean fit. These are then hot-glued down to the plastic
sheet. I thought that I wanted the squares at the end to pop more, so I cut squares out
of lino and then glued them down as well. Finally I add back the plastic top layer,
glue it down and cut it out to match the shape I need. This was to protect the mat-board,
and to allow debossing on top of the copper plate. And here you can see how the plate slips under the plastic and meets up against the mat board. I ink up the squares using a scrap of plastic
around the square to protect the areas that I don’t want to get ink on.
So I ink up the plate and run another print. Again I’m even less happy with this. The
glue I used to secure the plastic gives an uneven texture to the legs, and the linoleum
is too thick, so as the paper stretches around the block it pulls the ink down. While I contemplate what to do next, I decide
to focus on the mezzotint plate. So I lightened up a few areas, and using a template and a
drypoint needle, I drew in some details. Another proof, and things are coming along
good. Here I’m adding a bit more detail with the
template, and lightening up a few areas. In reality I spent hours working the plate, but
here are a few highlights. And one more proof. I think I’m about 90%
happy at this point, but I want to add a bit more drypoint, and lighten a few more areas. I also decided what I wanted to do with the
three leg pieces. Once again I re-cut them out of mat board, but this time I rounded
all the edges, and decided to deboss the whole leg structure, rather than try and add color
or too much detail. I think this really made the print work for me. And finally here is the final proofing and
the finished print. I’m really happy with the final print. I had a lot of design changes
throughout this print, and a couple iterations that were almost too horrible to show, but
I think it’s important to show the whole thing, good and bad. Sometimes prints really
fight me, and I have a few that have been abandoned all together, but I think persevering
on this one worked out. Let me know down in the comments if you have
any questions, and what you think of the final print and hit that thumbs up if you liked
it. And if you’re interested in seeing more
of my work or purchasing this or another print, I’ll have a link in the description box
below. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you soon
with a new video!


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