Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ponte Vecchio, Firenze: Drypoint

Thank you BDP (yeah, you eBay printmakers know her if you think about it!) for letting me use your photograph of Florence, Italy's Ponte Vecchio for this drypoint, which I watercolored (ironically). What is a drypoint? Why am I asking you? ha ha I beveled the edges of a 6" x 8" sheet of Lexan and etched or scratched, really, the lines of this image into it with pointed tools. Then I inked the plate (yuck, a laborious and dirty process) and printed it using an etching press. I liked the print at that stage (all lines), but it looks better with watercolor.

But alas, this plate is losing its burrs and I can't get much more out of it. While Lexan and acrylics are easier to etch than traditional copper and zinc, they don't hold their burrs as well under the pressure of the etching press. The burrs are the line edges that actually print; when they're gone, the lines may print but the character of the print is gone.

P.S. OK you world travelers, what's wrong with this image? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you smartypantses. If you know the answer, go ahead, make your comment below. A gold star for everyone that gets it right. But don't play if you can't be nice. I'm sensitive.

1 comment:

Planet Janet said...

Yes! It's the mirror image! Most printmakers flip their reference photograph so the final product reads correctly. The building on the left should actually be on the right. I've never been to the Ponte Vecchio so may I have a pass? I'll be sure to reverse the image next time.