The etching process is still in early phases (bevel and degrease). I've beveled the edges of my copper plates already and tonight I am degreasing them and applying my hard ground. Allow me to explain:
Printmakers bevel the edges of any hard plate, whether it be copper, zinc, aluminum, or even acrylic (at least they should). This is done for two reasons: One, it prevents the plate from cutting through the paper and blankets when it goes through the press. There is A LOT of pressure when running it through the press, therefore the plates' edges can be sharp. Secondly, it gives the drum of the press a little help getting on to the plate while the press bed is moving underneath it. I liken it to a gymnast jumping onto the springboard to help them get up onto the balance beam.
|Beveling a plate.|
|Degreasing a copper plate with Whiting.|
I'm not quite ready to transfer the image to the plate yet, but I will keep you updated on that process as well as the actual etching process. More to come...