Monday, October 17, 2011

snakes & ladders

Latest project for etching class. We had the theme "snakes and ladders". The first thing that comes to mind is obviously the board game, so I looked up the history of the game, and became quite interested in what I found. It originated as a Hindu game around the year 1200 AD, and sounded like it was used as a teaching tool to teach children how to live a good life. The snakes symbolized vices, and the ladders symbolized virtues; making one's way across the board symbolized life (in life you come across things that help you and hinder you). The game has a whole list of virtues and vices (interestingly the "vice" list is waaaay longer than the "virtue" list); I picked two - knowledge and murder.

etching (hard ground)

First time using the acid bath, kinda intimidating at first, but after the first dunk it was OK. First you apply a "ground" to the copper plate, then you draw on the ground, exposing the copper underneath. When you put the plate in the acid bath, the part of the plate that is exposed gets etched (the metal gets eaten at and grooves are formed in the plate).

etching & chine collé

I really enjoyed the chine collé. The process is kinda slow (well, printmaking in general is SLOW), I think that's why I like it so much. :) The chine collé is the application of japanese paper (or any kind of paper, we were shown with the japanese paper) to the print. I liked it because it's a way of adding color, but you're only printing with black ink.

etching & chine collé

I also played with dyeing the japanese paper. In the bottom pic I didn't dye the whole piece red, I left some brush strokes.

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