Sometimes, it’s really nice to return to a plate I’ve printed a few times before, and try something different.

In this case, I wanted to combine some metallics with other warm colours. I suppose it’s part of my on/off mission to get metallics to work consistently. Yes, I know it’s really difficult, given the cotton papers I use. It’s a trade-off, as I need to use papers that will survive the high pressure of the etching press, and to capture the detail of my heavily-textured collagraph plates. This means that the paper must be slightly damp for printing, which is not conducive to printing metallic inks, which tend to sink straight into the surface.

Every so often, I try using metallic gold stirred but otherwise straight out of the jar. This usually results in a weak, wishy-washy print. However, what works a lot better is a mix of the metallic with a similar-toned colour. For gold, this means something like yellow ochre. I also dab or stipple the gold on top of an existing ink covering, which gives the metallic some substance and depth to sit on.

Anyway, here’s one of two unique prints I have recently made. It’s still a hit-and-miss affair, but when, like here, it does work, it can be beautiful. I’m calling this one ‘Moon in a Pewter Sky’.


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