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.