As more artists enter the studio in preparation for Print Parade #2, I got to observe the way each individual's nature of working. I've been fascinated with how each artist degrease and then coat their copper plates. Their personalities somehow get revealed in the process.
Rully prefers manual sanding and Tape takes to the sanding machine, as mentioned in an earlier post.
Then I met Oik Wasfuk (he goes by Nothing Sacred SvArtwork ) who spent hours sanding in tiny rotations from corner to corner of his plate, and increasing the grit size (up to 1500) of the sandpaper as he went along. He moved from the table in the workshop, to sitting down on a shorter glass table, and the last I saw of him, Oik was at the entrance of the studio, squatted and still sanding at the same spots. He took so much care of his plate, and he did not hurry.
Rully told me that's the way we should actually do it. Rudy also asked me if I had seen Oik's illustrations, because his process is also very telling of his detailled artworks.
Also, it seems like the general preference of degreasing the plate varies from place to place. For example, the Australians that they are connected with do not use sandpaper, and only use soap to degrease their plates, and from my experience, in Singapore, Kikkoman soy sauce also has a role to play in the process.
This morning while having breakfast with Maryanto, he shared that his technique of degreasing was much faster - just steel wool + brasso.
My technique? (as an amateur)
Manual Sanding from 400 grit to 800 grit to 1200 grit, circular direction then straight strokes from left to right and soap (that has calcium bicarbonate) and water. I do not like using the machine as it creates some unnecessary scratches which is visible to my eye, and then we'll still end up manual sanding it away.
I also noticed that the other artists who use the sander, attach a rag to the machine for the final step.