Intaglio Printmaking: Rosin-Wash Resist Research and Demonstration
The definition of the print, like that of any other art medium, is in a constant state of flux. It can be molded into the social and aesthetic needs of a given society and to the individual expression of an artist. Each creative field and media within the arts is constantly evolving with surprising new techniques. Although the modern world of printmaking is flourishing with numerous innovative, post-digital, and non-toxic techniques, there remains room for further advancement by introducing new methods using classic material within Intaglio printmaking. This body of research offers a new and unique method of creating a resist on an intaglio plate, which not only echoes the linear quality of a lithographic tusche wash but also produces a unique organic linear quality and image density. This new method, a Rosin-Wash Resist Compound, also produces a denser detailed etch in comparison to an aquatint through combining only two elements: water and liquefied rosin.
This technique can be utilized within any modern printshop equipped for etching and Intaglio printmaking. The methodological approach developed from the research allows artists to manipulate a rosin-based wash resist to create reticulated and undulating lines onto a copper or zinc plate. The resist compound has been proven to withstand many different types of etching agents including: Copper Sulfate, Ferric Chloride, Hydrochloric Acid and Nitric Acid. The resist is incredible durable and well suited for any skill level printmaker. You may work with precision or chance with the compound and the stability of the mixture allows for an extended shelf life and simple replenishment if a supply were to be depleted. All of the ingredients in the wash compound can be found in almost any high volume printshop.
This body of research began in 2015 and is on-going currently with new developments every year. What began as an accident during the chemical process of etching, became an obsessive curiosity which I developed and explored in the following years. While at Colorado State University, I have been able to dedicate hundreds of hours to create a predictable and replicable methodology that can be utilized in any printshop. The first major presentation of this research was at MAPC: Go West: The Collaborative Turn, a printmaking conference hosted at the University of Wyoming in Larimer, WY. I was invited to present in a two-hour time slot during the second day of the conference.
During and after the two-hour demonstration many printmakers asked inquisitive questions and stated praise for the originality of the research. Through this presentation and Q and A session, new ideas were generated to take the research further during the past two years. The Rosin Wash method currently has a solidified outline of a predictable methodological approach to creating a wide variety of lines and linear qualities. The goal is to finish the research by the fall of 2020 and present the written methodological approach for publication. If you have specific questions about the application and method of this new technology, I am happy to answer them via email.
Below are six individaul examples of the potentiality of creating a new type of line on and Intaglio plate.
Lastly, below is a video showing a rough outline of the process when using the Rosin-Wash Resist Compound. The copper plate being used is 3 x 5 feet in dimension and was etched using ferric chloride. The single action which is shown in the video of the initial pouring of water over the Rosin-Wash Resist Compound, it is an example of one step of many to create the final composition. If you would like more information regarding the methodological approach to the technique, please contact me via email.