Etching with Don Braisby

1st and 2nd June 2017

I attended a workshop with Don Braisby on Saline Sulphate Etching and Electro Etching. This formed part of the selection process for the Printmaking Scholarship that I had previously applied for.

Don began the workshop by giving us an overview of the Saline Sulphate Etching process and the potential mark making effects that can be gained by using different methods, for example, using hard ground or soft ground, other materials for stop outs such as wax, shellac, permanent marker and Fablon.

He then discussed the recipe for the Saline Solution and the process around the actual etching of your work and showed us some examples of his plates, both aluminium etched with Saline Sulphate and Stainless Steel etched using Electro Etching.

Saline Sulphate Etching

We then began working on aluminium plates of our own, experimenting with mark making to produce plates that had been etched in the Saline Sulphate Solution and that were ready for printing.

The images below show my first effort. I was particularly interested in working with Fablon, probably because I’ve felt I had not great results when I have used Hard and Soft Ground previously. I did also use a permanent marker and this did give me some shading in the piece.

Electro Etching

On the afternoon of the first day we then went on to work with Electro Etching. This is a completely new process to me, one which I was quite nervous of, however we were reassured that the Electro Etching produces finer lines that the Saline Sulphate Etching. This method is something that I would need to spend more time understanding, in particular the science behind the process, so that I might gain a better understanding.

Before working on the Steel Plate we attached a handle to be used in the Electro Etching process. I then worked on my piece of Steel plate preparing it for etching in much the same way as with the Saline Sulphate Etching, this time using both Fablon and Shellace. Then, once ready the plate was placed into an Electro Etching bath. The Workshop Notes cover the Electro Etching process in detail.

Further Experimentation

The next day we were given the opportunity to explore the processes further and produce additional pieces of work. I decided that I would like to practice working with Fablon further and made my next piece, where I started to consider using the etching process to create shade in the image.

My final piece of the workshop, I decided to experiment further with the idea of shade and came up with the following result, the grey part of the etching, I had only etched for a few minutes to create that idea of different shades of colour.

Research

The artists below are recommended by Don regards the Electro Etching Process.

I also went along to Don’s exhibition at Oriel Sycharth Gallery at Glyndwr University which I found to be very inspiring and has given me a lot of food for though moving forwards.

2 Comments

  1. […] the Etching with Don Braisby Workshop at the Regional Print Centre, I decided to visit the exhibition of Don’s work at […]

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