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  • Writer's pictureChiara

Foul bite and friends

Before I started making my intaglio plates I made some decisions about how I would deal with various imperfections. Most copper comes to the studio with some scratches arising from manufacture and transport. Handling and storage of plates in the studio can introduce more scratches. Foul-bite arises when areas of the ground which protects the surface of the plate from the etchant break down, allowing the plate to be bitten in unpredictable ways. All of these imperfections hold ink and therefore result in marks on the final print. It is possible to sand and polish out scratches at the start of the making process. Likewise it is possible to look out for weak areas in the ground and apply stop out to reinforce the ground and prevent foul bite. I decided to do neither of these things.

Accepting scratches and (even courting) foul-bite became part of my intention. I decided to embrace these marks as a reflection of the marks of trauma and the imperfect nature of our political responses to it.

The random marks add interest and character to the image.

Having made the decision to accept these imperfections, however, puts extra pressure on other aspects of my process. I want my work to look professional and considered, so I need to be careful that other aspects of my technique so that the work doesn't appear to be sloppy or careless.

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