The Visceral Hand: “Only Weeds Will Grow”

“Only Weeds Will Grow”
3-Plate etching
Image: 12 x 8 inches
Paper: 18 x 14 inches

Titled after the Victorian belief that, “When a good life was lived, flowers will grow on the deceased grave.  But on the graves of the wicked, only weeds will grow,” this three-plate etching was made for the exchange portfolio, “The Visceral Hand,” organized by Michael Weigman and Joshua Jay Johnson.  27 of these prints went directly into the portfolio, and I have 8 available artist proofs.  E-mail if you would like to reserve one.

The Visceral Hand

The imagery was inspired by Victorian hair wreaths which were built with hair from deceased family members as a memorial.  As a member of the family died, their hair would be intricately woven and added to the wreath in a bizarre sort of postmortem family tree.

Detail of hair wreath

The entire plate is coated with an acid resist and the image is drawn with an etching needle to expose the copper underneath.  When the entire plate is submerged in acid, the acid bites into the copper where the image was drawn.

Key plate before etching in acid

The blue plate was inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-E woodblock prints.

Blue layer before adding the key plate.

The fade was etched using a creep bite technique where acid is incrementally poured into a tray of water and allowed to “creep” up the plate


Each plate is inked and wiped separately, then printed one on top of another.

3-plate etching
Printing the key layer on top of the sienna and blue layers
Raeleen’s graveyard of prints

The first exhibition of the completed portfolio will open at Rivet Gallery in Columbus, OH.  Full list of participants and exhibition info Here.