Hoya Plant: An exercise in neurotic behavior

I love plants.  I really love plants.  If I didn’t have such a rambunctious force of destruction masquerading as a domestic cat, my little studio apartment would be exploding with greenery.  The first plant I bought when moving to Chicago was a Hoya plant and in an open admission of bad parenting, I play favorites.  My sister recently killed her money tree plant, and for Christmas I made her this etching:  A plant that could not be killed.  Edition of 11, e-mail RaeleenKao@gmail for purchase.

Black and white etching
Image: 3 1/2 x 5 inches
Paper: 8 1/2 x 10 inches
Edition: 11

The first step is applying a hard-ground acid resist to the copper plate.  The image is drawn through the acid resist, exposing the copper underneath.  In order to capture all the detail, I use a pair of jeweler’s glasses on top of my day-to-day Coke-bottle lenses.

The entire plate is submerged in acid, which bites into the drawn lines.

Tone in etching is applied by dusting a plate with powdered rosin to create a random dot pattern, which is heat-fused to the plate and also acts as an acid resist.

Detail of rosin fused to the plate. Oooooo shiny.

Ink is applied to the plate, and transferred to pre-soaked paper under the high pressure of the etching press.

Freshly pulled print