Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More Etching

I imported some Lascaux acrylic etching resists to replace the rather more toxic and troublesome resists I've used up to this point. The first ones I tried out were the stop-out and plate-backing resists, which I used to make this little 50mm plaque.

It's hardly a masterpiece, but it did demonstrate some of what I needed to know about these new materials:

  • They go on to the metal very well, and they seem to be highly acid-resistant.
  • They don't like a very highly-polished plate, but they adhered fine to this one which I polished with 0000 steel wool. I guess that will mean that if I don't want any plate tone in my prints, the plate might need a bit of localized polishing after etching is complete.
  • They cure pretty quickly, as acrylics tend to do.
  • It's not a good idea to try to accelerate drying with heat, as the differential in thermal expansion/contraction between the resist and the copper can dislodge small areas.
  • You'll need to be washing out your brush very regularly or the resist will cake in it.
  • It washes off the plate very easily with methylated spirits — Lascaux do offer a "remover", but meths is cheap and easily accessible. I haven't tried washing it off after being left on the plate for any extended length of time though.
The resists aren't all that cheap, but they're not desperately expensive either, and they do go quite a long way.

Next I shall have to try drawing into the hard ground with an etching needle for an intaglio line. That will be the real test.