I will be instructing the Printmaking class at the Arts West Council's 24th Artists Retreat, June 17th - 22nd, 2012. The five-day camp is held at the Riding Mountain Conference Centre (Camp Wannukumbac) at scenic Clear Lake, Manitoba, Canada.
The class will explore non-toxic approaches to etching. We'll be using acrylic grounds on zinc plates with a salt etchant (copper sulphate, table salt and water). Unlike ferric chloride used with copper plates, this etchant produces no toxic fumes, and the grounds can be stripped from the plates using a bath of water and soda ash. We'll be starting from scratch, preparing the plate thru to editioning (hopefully) for one small plate (5"x7"). The beauty of etching lies in the working and reworking of the plate to build up an image. This process takes time, and it will offer the participants the opportunity to concentrate on one plate for the entire week, after which they will be able to take the techniques they have learned with them to Martha Street etc. for future work.
We'll also try a solar plate etch for which I have built a small exposure unit. With this technique we'll create our artwork on grained glass or clear acetate and expose it in direct contact with a thin steel plate that has a prepared photo-emulsion adhered to it. The plate is then washed out with tap water, and exposed once more to harden the emulsion. The plate is then inked up and the print pulled. This immediate method allows you to create some interesting effects that are otherwise impossible and/or very difficult to achieve with traditional etching techniques (ie. you can simulate touche washes from lithography using india ink on clear acetate.)
For more information about the class please follow the Arts West link found below: