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  'I'm a terrible rule breaker. Printmaking is very hidebound by technique and history. I always find myself looking at how something is done and thinking of alternative methods.'

A print ' I usually work on copper, steel or sheets of plastic. Using copper is like drawing on a slab of butter, you can make a mark with a hatpin and it will print. Plastic is similar and leaves a lovely velvety mark when printed. Steel is the toughest metal to work but with a miniature drill or Dremel, it can be engraved with comparative ease. Steel prints a grey mid-tone, so you work up for white and down for black. A white colour can be achieved using a combination of greasy compounds and lots of wet and dry paper. Stopping-out with either shellac or nail varnish creates a complete white.'

' Aquatint is the traditional method used for the tonal range on an etching plate. The conventional method of the aquatint box has been completely superseded by modern technology. Spray paint or glue will give the same effect and more besides - producing rich effects .'

  ' Sugar-lift aquatint involves painting an image on the plate with a mixture of black poster paint and icing sugar. When dry the entire plate is covered with a black varnish. A gentle scrubbing under a hot tap dissolves the areas of sugar-lift, aquatint is applied and the plate etched in acid. It gives a lovely, painterly effect as though you have drawn on the plate with black crayon .'


'Mezzotint produces the deepest velvety black by rocking a steel comb over the metal plate to produce a burr. A very long and laborious process, I find that using a Dremel with stone drill heads produces a very similar effect .'



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