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Back in the etching studio again. Very quiet and peaceful and an entire art college printing studio to myself. Can’t be bad. Two plates on the go today. I worked on them last Thursday in here and I am trying to finish them off today. The two prints are left over from the summer school. Both are plates that Dom gave me, one a squareish one and the other more of a vertical rectangle. On both I have put on traditional resin grounds and worked through these again. One has been done twice and the rectangle is on it’s third ground, this last time with a motif from the old botany books that I have been using. These should be the last dip and they will be done. I have experimented with writing on the plates. One has lots of little, pretty obscure messages on from the summer school, Grayson Perry style with logos and so on and the other one has handwriting on. I also want to do something like ‘Another nice etching’ by the Chapmans. We’ll see how that turns out.

Last week I had another go on the laser cutter and this time much more successfully. I had trimmed down the image in Illustrator so that it was simpler and we reduced the size of the result by about 25% so that 24 fitted on the A1 card. The result took just over two minutes to do for each card and so the whole sheet only took 45 minutes or so. This meant that the individual card had less invested in it, as it were, so I am more likely to post them on, which was the intention – a postal art piece. I think this is the way to go; using the machine to make a ‘print’ type object rather than a plate. There is some exploring of the raster idea and the possibility of making a lino cut with the machine which I should explore further next year. The way the machine etches type is impressive and a lot easier that my trying to write backwards on an etching plate. There are photo etching options I could no doubt try out.

I gave David Page one of the tiles yesterday and he was intrigued by the effect. We discussed his adventures with liquid grounds and copper plates. He had made a very fine little ‘hunter in the snow’ etching on a tiny and very ancient press. This NUCA print studio is so well equipped for traditional techniques that the idea of doing etching in the shed takes a bit of thinking about.

David Page in his studio