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  • Writer's pictureChiara


The plates I have been making are somewhat do or die. They rely on the imprint of my hand in either soft ground, sugarlift, or acrylic resist, so there isn't much opportunity for re-revising the plate once the ground or aquatint has been removed. There's no way I could place my hand in exactly the same position a second time. However, in proofing the plates I found a couple where I needed to tweek some details and a few more where the plate just isn't working the way I want and I would lose nothing by trying agin and potentially ruining it.

This plate needed a tweek--the aquatint is lovely and black over most of the plate, but there are a couple of lines and small areas that have etched more lightly. I could excuse the imperfections with the conceptual justification that trauma isn't black and white and my early attempts at political awareness (and later ones too) are variable and incomplete. But honestly, the light areas just bothered me too much and I want to see if I can eliminate them.

The challenge here is to mask out the lighter area where the original acrylic resist was and add aquatint to the remainder of the plate. I've outlined the imprint of my hand in fine liner. Thankfully the edge between the hand-print and the aquatint is solid enough that I can feel it with the pen-nib so that I can use both sight and touch to find the edges. Another saving grace is that the fine-liner tends to breakdown a little in the Ferric bath so that the edge will not be as clean as the lines I have drawn. Both of these factors should help to protect the organic nature of the image. After outlining the edge I'm fill the shape with acrylic paint. I can use the tip of the brush to work into the irregular edge providing a third means of protecting the quality of the imprint.

Then it's time to aquatint the plate. Leave it to dry well and etch it again. Once that's done I can take another proof and see what I have achieved.

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