Etching Sugarlift Plates

I spent a little while today touching up that sugarlift plate that I had had difficulty with the other day. Part of me wanted to wipe the whole thing away and start over again, but I felt like I didn’t have the time or the patience to make that happen. With the school year ending, my access to the printshop is going to end very soon and I need to get as much done as possible before that time comes.

When I finished as much of that plate as possible, I decided to make my acid charts so that when I did go to the printshop I could start etching the plates right away. Part of me really hates making the acid charts to determine how long to etch each area of the plate. The process feels so mechanical, because you’re just making this list of times for how long different parts of the plate will etch in the acid. I also feel like I don’t etch on a regular basis the way some printmakers do so my feel for the acid times is never as sensitive or as accurate as I wish it would be. Yet I also know at the same time that a poorly made acid chart can lead to all sorts of issues in terms of having the plate be properly executed. I also personally hate re-aquatinting areas of my plate, I much prefer to err on overetching the plate and then using a scraper to cut down on the tones of they’re too dark. At least now that part is done with and I can get to completing the last stages of etching before I get to proof the plate, which is the part of the process that I enjoy the most.

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