Impression № 027: The Wood Maladies

Todd Michael Freeman tells us more about the mechanics of his art:

“My prints and drawings first start to take shape in my sketchbook , usually undergoing several developments until reaching their finished form. I’ll start a loose proof drawing on tracing paper, to ensure placement of the image, and that it will read properly reversed (as the final etching will be “flipped”). This drawing is then transferred onto a polished copper plate coated with hard ground, a thin rubber-like coating of beeswax and asphaltum. After the drawing on the plate has been rendered in with an etching needle, the plate is prepped for the Dutch Mordant, a hydrochloric acid solution. The acid bath is what creates the final etched line on the plate, and must be cautiously monitored to ensure the acid will reach into all the tiny lines on the plate. Small marks etch very slowly, but a well-timed plate can yield some of the most delicate lines imaginable. Once the plate is ready to print, it is inked, wiped and rolled through a printing press, and then flattened in blotters to dry for several days. The final prints are then painted in with traditional and concentrated watercolors, a rich-looking technique I’ve adopted in favor of laborious multi-plate registration.”

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