The starting point
I make etchings and collographs of animals and birds. The starting point is a simple line drawing of the animal. This allows me to study the form and muscle structure; to really look at the creature.
For the etchings, I use carmine paper to transfer the drawing onto a zinc plate. The animal is then fleshed out by using aquatint techniques.
To create the textures of fur or feather, I first cover the plate with soft wax, then scratch into the wax with various tools. These include wire brushes, a metal pan-scrub, a rough sponge or a studded wheel called a roulette.
Nitric acid bites into the scratches to make grooves which will hold the printing ink. The final act is to print the image on a large cast iron Rochat press – muscle power.
The eyes have it
The background of the image is minimal or non-existent to focus the viewer’s gaze on the animal. You look at the animal, and the animal looks at you. The eyes have it.
After over twenty years of using the strange complicated techniques of etching, I am still surprised by the characters of the animals which appear.
Fancy a visit?
If you would like to visit Halfmoon Studio, please feel free to give us a call and arrange a time.