I am back to the mezzotints. I have started with a pre-rocked plate which will save me at least 5 hours work. The first thing I have to do is file and burnish the edges of the plate at an angle so they don't damage the paper/ blankets as they go through the press. Here is my trusty burnisher (one of 3) and my plate. You also need a bit of oil to help with the burnishing.
It is quite difficult to see what you're doing, but you can get an idea from looking at the way the light reflects off the surface of the plate, as a result I take on the shape of a 'human pretzel' (as it was once described to me!).
I think this was about 2 hours in, I'm half way but starting to get tired. Lunch time!
After I've inked and wiped the plate, I have a better idea of what the image looks like. I wish I could just exhibit the plate, I think it looks much nicer then the prints themselves.
The print didn't come out that well so I need to go back and add some definition to the lower left hand side of the plate. I also think I need to change the colour of the black to make it warmer, and add some oil to make it look softer. But all that can wait until tomorrow! It has taken at least 6 hours to get to this stage, I think I will need another 2 hours before I'm happy to start making prints.
Day 2 in the studio this week and I reworked some areas on my copper plate, then took another proof. I'm much happier with this version so I spent the rest of the day testing out different blacks (warmer/ cooler etc) and different papers. Last day of printing is less than a month away!