Embrace the unexpected and push your etching practice further on this introduction to soap ground workshop! Enjoy a playful day led by our technician Kate, experimenting with this technique and exploring its unique properties to create abstract compositions – for etchers who want to develop their work and expand their skillset.
Soap ground (sometimes referred to as white ground) is a paste made from soap, oil and white pigment. When painted onto the surface of a metal etching plate, it acts as an imperfect resist, which breaks down the longer the plate is etched. When used in combination with aquatint, this can make for some really interesting tonal images and effects. The ground can be used neat and painted onto the plate thickly for a strong acid resist, or it can be thinned with water and used as a wash. It can also be worked into with various tools to remove areas of ground. Once mastered, it can be used in combination with other etching techniques, providing a valuable additional mark-making tool.
On this course we will be working on A5-size copper plates and etching with a ferric chloride solution. Goggles and gloves will provided, but please note that we will be using grounds and varnishes which require the use of solvents to remove, so this course is not suitable for those who have any allergies or sensitivities to these products, or for pregnant women.
Your tutor: Kate Desforges
Kathryn Desforges is an artist and printmaker based in West Yorkshire. She makes, exhibits and sells limited edition, handmade original contemporary prints and artist books. Kate is Studio Co-ordinator and Technician at West Yorkshire Print Workshop and has been using etching in her practice for over 15 years.
Intermediate / experienced printmakers. For beginners, we recommend our weekend Intro to: Etching course to get acquainted with the basics of etching first.
All course prices include basic materials such as inks, paper, tools and equipment.
What should I prepare beforehand?
All materials and equipment will be provided. You are welcome to bring general reference material – drawings, images, photographs or books for example – to use as inspiration, but you are advised not to prepare a specific image beforehand – this course is about learning the technique and exploring the mark-making possibilities of the medium, and the emphasis will be on playing with mark-making and enjoying unexpected outcomes. Please do also bring any of your favourite mark-making tools, and we advise bringing along an apron or old shirt to avoid getting mucky!
Each stage of the process will be demonstrated first, and students will be supported and guided throughout.
· Introductions and explanation of technique with examples.
· Preparing plates – filing, degreasing.
· Aquatinting plates – demonstration and then break for lunch while tutor prepares plates.
· Applying soap ground, drying, etching.
· Inking-up and proof-printing
Covid-19 safety :
We continue to have everyone’s safety as our main priority. Added measures to keep you safe include:
- Each participant will be allocated an individual workstation and box of materials.
- During your time in the workshop, we will open windows/doors etc. to provide increased ventilation – this might mean it’s a little colder than usual so you might wish to pack an extra layer!
- The workshop has antibacterial/viral wipes, hand sanitiser which is to be used upon arrival and has increased the frequency of cleaning to communal areas.
After attending this course you can join our workshop as a member and continue to use our facilities to make and develop your own work. The sooner the better, as the longer you leave it the more you are likely to forget! If you join up within one month of attending the course you will receive a £5 discount. Find out more about the benefits of membership here: https://www.wypw.org/shop/standard-membership/
- If you have to cancel:
- 16-12 weeks before the course: 50 % of the fee will be retained by WYPW
- Less than 12 weeks before the course: 100% of the fee will be retained by WYPW
- Please note that full payment is required for non-attendance on a booking that has been transferred.
- If we have to cancel: