Today's the first day of class. I came into studio to meet Rully preparing the plates for the first step and Tape was in the acid room mixing the ferric chloride for etching tests.
Today was a different kind of orientation. I learnt where the tools and equipment are kept and the process of how aquatint is being produced on a copper plate.
With that, we each tested the strength of the acid bath, which seemed like it was too strong.
I attempted another test on a separate plate, this time, injecting some fun into the process.
In this studio, we do things the old school and diy way.
The rosin (gondorukem) box is basically a computer fan placed at the bottom of a wooden box hinged with acrylic sheets as a door flap and a spirit burner is the staple for heating the plates for aquatint (like bbq).
But I found it really hard to print the plate.
Comparing Rully, Tape and my prints, it seemed like whatever was inked and then wiped off was either too little or too much, resulting in severe inconsistencies. Tape tried to comfort me by explaining that perhaps the distance between each step on the plate was too close and I would have achieved a better result if the gaps between each test were wider. Hmmm.... well I think that my technique is just too weak at this stage, which spells for more practice.
Rully proceeded to show me the steps in degreasing the plate. I asked him tonnes of questions.
For instance, I have seen degreasing done in school before, but additional steps like using soy sauce and then gif (brand of soap) were not used here. Also, Tape preferred using the sanding machine to sand the plate while Rully would always use manual sanding. Ultimately, it's up to me.
He then showed me how to coat the ground on the plate which I will try out on my own tomorrow.
This post marks the start of my residency programme at Studio Grafis Minggiran based in Yogyakarta.
Studio Grafis Minggiran is a community as well as a workshop studio with mentors that specialize in
Alugraphy and Intaglio techniques. Initiated in the year 2001 by a group of graphic art students from Indonesia Institute of art (ISI) Yogyakarta, Studio Grafis Minggiran became a workshop and a creative work place which can be accessed by interested art practitioners.
At Grafis Minggiran, I would be learning how to do two techniques from my mentors - Alugraphy and Etching.
Tape and Rully gave me the liberty to choose which technique I would like to start my journey with.
I placed etching before alugraphy because I have always wanted to learn etching and it is also the main reason why I applied for this residency. To learn alugraphy would be a bonus, and it seems from speaking to my mentors that alugraphy would be faster to pick up. With that, we worked out a schedule for 7 days.
Actually, what fascinated me most was the space, with its window grills and quirky assemblage in the kitchen.
You should know that I am not a fan of crowds.
The arrangement with the studio is such that am living a stone's throw away from the studio.
To close this entry, here's a photo of where I will spend most of my mornings and nights reflecting and doodling in my journal.
I can't wait for tomorrow to come.