'When the last tree has fallen'
'Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money', Cree Indian Prophecy.
I began working on this print midway 2019, when there were numerous news reports about Koala's being critically endangered. (To be fair, there have been activists calling for critical Koala habitat to be protected well before the 1980's.) Since then, half the state has burned, critical Koala habitat destroyed, and Koala numbers desamated. While covid has the public attention, developers are madly land clearing. Koalas need our attention too.
My husband asked this morning if I had completed my plate. After explaining the whole process of how one creates an etching, he said, "your mad, it's too much work for little reward". I guess if environmental activists thought that, no one would bother trying to protect it.
Which brings me to the question of exactly how much work is in an etching?
1. Create your image, using sketches, photos, photoshop, collage, or a mixture of all of these processes.
2. Prepare the zinc plate. (Clean, polish, file edges, apply a soft or hard ground).
3. Transfer image onto plate.
4. Use and etching tool to draw the image through the hard ground exposing the metal.
5. Etch in the acid solution, check the line depth, etch again if required.
6. Clean the plate.
7. Ink the plate.
8. Print the plate onto proofing paper, using a printing press, then put the print under weight to dry.
9. Hand tone the dried print with watercolour.
10. Clean the plate.
11. Apply Aquatint to the plate.
12. Paint Bitumen onto the plate to cover areas of the plate that you don't want to etch further. Place in the acid. Repeat numerous times to build up layers of tone following your painted proof.
13. Clean the plate.
14. Mix an appropriate coloured Ink, ink the plate.
15. Print an artist proof of the print.
16. Make any adjustments to the plate such as burnishing an area to lighten it.
17. Re ink the plate, Print the plate.
18. Repeat step 17 numerous times, depending on how large an edition you wish to create....
19. Choose the prints that have less than 10% variation. Sign and number.
20. Frame, exhibit, publicise, sell or give away etc........
A print maker loves process......
An environmentalists cares........