Solitude is an original etching on paper in one color made from one etched zinc plate.
Etching is a general term for a print that is made from a plate that has been etched.
To make the plate for Solitude, I used a crayon ground.
Old-style wax crayons block the etch from eating the plate. The heavier the application of crayon, the lighter that spot will be on the plate. Therefore, I made an inverted drawing on my plate.
In addition to using shading to control how light or dark a spot was on my plate, I also controlled how long each part of the drawing came in contact with the nitric acid etch.
To prevent a spot from being etched further, I removed the plate from its acid bath, rinsed and dried it, and then painted over the spot with Tolémail. Once the paint was dry, the plate went back in the acid bath to allow the rest of the image to bite more deeply into the metal, which would make those parts print darker.
To ink the plate, I spread ink over its surface and then wiped the ink into its textures with balls of stiffened cheesecloth called tarlatan and paper.
To print the plate, I first softened my printing paper by soaking it in water. Then I placed the inked plate face-up on an etching press, arranged the softened paper on top, and then added backing papers and a few wool blankets to the pile. I then cranked the pile through the press.
The blankets pushed the softened paper into the textures of the plate, transferring both the ink and the texture of the plate to the paper.
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I printed Solitude in an edition of twelve prints, numbered 1/12 to 12/12.
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