Come and get your hands inky and your creativity flowing in this mid week taster workshop which will introduce you to the basics of working with soft ground etching, creating your own hand-made prints in our professionally equipped studios.
Famously used by artists such as Goya, Rembrandt and Picasso, etching produces prints with a unique quality of line and a characteristic embossed edge.
To make a soft ground etching, a soft wax resist is applied to a metal plate, drawn through with pencils and pressed into with textured materials to lift off areas of the ground. Acid is then used to ‘bite’ areas of the plate which have been exposed. This creates grooves and texture in the plate surface which hold ink when printed. On this taster session you will be working on zinc plates and etching using copper sulphate solution, a less toxic alternative to traditional nitric acid. This technique is perfect for those who like to be experimental with their mark-making (and not too precise!) Soft, crayon-like marks and tonal areas can be achieved.
The course is led with a hands-on approach from the start, with plenty of examples and demonstrations along the way. You will make 1x 12x15cm etching plate over the course of the day, and there will be the opportunity to produce a number of prints to take away with you. You will also learn about paper, inking and registration techniques.
Throughout the workshop you will be guided through the process step-by-step and will leave with a good grounding (groan!) in the process with confidence to explore further.
*Please note that some of the substances we use for etching are classed as hazardous. You will be provided with personal protective equipment such as gloves and goggles, but we would not recommend this course for anyone who is sensitive to solvents or for pregnant women. Please get in touch if you have any queries.
Your tutor : Kate Desforges
Kate Desforges is an artist, printmaker and educator based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. She creates process-driven, contemporary artworks which explore narrative and conceptual representations of place. Keeping an experimental approach and investigating the physical act of making are at the core of her practice. She uses a range of traditional print processes such as etching, woodcut and lithography, enabling a unique visual language which she uses to explore different elements of this multi-faceted theme. She has undertaken artist residencies at Intaglio Printmaker, London, Mi-LAB, Japan, a Postgraduate Fellowship in stone lithography at Leicester Print Workshop, and is also the studio co-ordinator and technician at WYPW.
See more on her tutor profile here: https://wypw.org/tutors/kate-desforges/
No previous experience is needed for this course. This is a great course for beginners and those who need a refresher, and is perfect as a lead-in to membership of WYPW, so that you can continue to use and develop the techniques you have learned.
The course price includes all basic materials including a 12x15cm zinc plate, inks, cartridge paper, tools and equipment. Other materials and printmaking papers will be available to buy during the course if you would like to try something a bit different, or take some materials home to try out.
- Introduction to technique with examples
- Plate preparation – filing sanding degreasing
- Applying ground and drawing
- Etching and proof printing plates
What should I think about beforehand?
It would be helpful in the run up to the workshop for you to consider an image you’d like to work with. You’ll be drawing onto the plate with a pencil, so think about the different sorts of marks you can make – use it vertically with pressure to create a solid, defined line, or ease off the pressure and use it on its side to create a wider, broken line and shading. You are welcome to bring along source material to work from such as photographs, sketchbooks and drawings. You might even like to pre-prepare a drawing at home beforehand to translate to the plate on the day (we will be using plates around 12×15 cm in size), or you may want to bring along some (flat) materials which you can impress into the ground to make a mark. This is not essential, however, and it is equally fine to just come along, make some marks and see what happens.
After attending this etching course, you will be well equipped to join our workshop as a member and continue to use our facilities to make and develop your own work. You may also want to develop your skills further by booking onto one of our further etching courses in aquatint to introduce tone into your etchings. The sooner the better, as the longer you leave it the more you are likely to forget! Sign up for membership within one month of attending the course you will receive a £5 discount. Find out more about the benefits of membership here.
- 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: