Wednesday, August 10, 2005
At last the etching has begun. It's at this early stage of the process that I find to be quite difficult. A copper plate covered in hard ground tends to be quite dark and a lot more difficult to see than a piece of silvery zinc. The Charbonnel ground that I use has a great smell which I am sure is harmful to my health (but of the very best quality).
After I work into the copper plate for a while I begin to understand where I need to take the image and what possibilities it may have. In earlier etching when draw a tree or a cloud on a plate, I have often made use of the lines in ancient drawings or engravings. William Blake is a favourite because he often uses similar lines to render a tree or a figure or a cloud. Many of the figures he uses in some of the Dante's Inferno engravings even resemble rocks or trees.
There are a number of reasons why I want to make reference or acknowlege another artists work through my own. The primary reason is one of a personal dialogue. By including in my own etching something I have found of importance in their work is a way for me to communicate with them historically. Its a way for me to reach back and shake their hand.