Rocking a Mezzotint

19 Aug

I started preparing a copper plate for a new mezzotint this week.  This process is quite long winded and involves passing a ‘rocker’ across the plate in at least 20 different directions. 

Rocking a mezzotint

Rocking a mezzotint

The rocker is a curved tool with tiny teeth that are designed to leave a row of dots on the metal surface that will hold ink. 

Rocking a mezzotint

Rocking a mezzotint

By ‘rocking’ the plate in several directions the surface becomes rough and covered in burs that will now hold ink and if printed at this stage the plate should print a velvet black.

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To create the image the rough burs are then scraped away and burnished to create lighter tones that will hold less ink.

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Below is a reminder of my willow tree mezzotint plate and the print taken from it.  This was one of my first successful mezzotints, and i’m glad to have finally got round to trying this method again! (however long it may take me!)

Willow tree Mezzotint in progress, this shows the mere foundations of where i've started to map out the image.  At this angle it looks like it's printable but there's a lot more work to do before it can be proofed!

Willow tree Mezzotint in progress, this shows the mere foundations of where i’ve started to map out the image. At this angle it looks like it’s printable but there’s a lot more work to do before it can be proofed!

 

It's almost there, I just want to define the edges a bit more and add some more highlights.

It’s almost there, I just want to define the edges a bit more and add some more highlights.

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