Last Sunday, I continued working on my Robinson’s brewery etching using a mezzotint technique. The plate I am using was originally for another print which didn’t turn out the way I wanted. I had only etched the outline of the design but decided to start a fresh. The only problem was I had deep etched lines in the print which needed to be removed. The answer was to add Aquatint and then place the plate in strong acid for 15 minutes and let the lines disappear. I then creating my new etching from there. As the plate had been etched back, when I did a test print it came out black. This is where I used a ball burnisher and my own curved burnishing tool to smooth out the areas I wanted to be printed light. Any areas left in burnished would be printed dark.
Burnishing is a delicate and long process which requires concentration and good light. I will be showing the final results in my next post in the New Year.
During a full weekend of printing, I completed a new etching for the project which depicts the Air Raid Shelters in Stockport which apparently during World War II could accommodate up to 3,850 civilians when it was opened in 1939. This was then extended to allow up to 6,500 civilians making them the largest purpose built shelters in the country.
During a guided visit a few years ago, I was able to capture on camera the warren of red sandstone tunnels which extends for up to 1 mile in total.
This time I produced a number of different versions of this print; some in sepia, black ink and I also added colour to some prints using a fine brush to colour in the bunting and the Union Jack flag. I also used an etching crayon and aquatint to depict the sandstone walls.