As part of our work in the first issue of Névoa Azul magazine, we spent some days doing etchings in light blue colours.
We started by drawing in reverse in a metallic cardboard. Using a precision knife we cut lightly the metallic cardboard without reaching its paper part. This will absorb the ink. With some old fabrics we make what in portuguese we call boneca (doll) to cover the draw with ink in a circular movement to make the cuted lines full of ink. Then a cleaning process begins. Textile waste was used to remove most of the superficial ink. In a second step, another piece of textile waste was used to clean even more. Finaly, to lighten some areas, we used small cotton pieces. Before going to the press is important to clean all the cardboard edges. In the press bed we mark a position to the cardboard and the paper to be printed. We roll the press the first time. After the second or third printings, the cardboard will get out of ink. To get more printings we lay cardboard blankets carefully over a new printing paper. This will put even more pressure on the metallic cardboard to split out ink. If you want to make more printings, start the process from the beginning. As this is a very simplified process of etching, your surface, the metallic cardboard, will get degradated quickly.
Even if the drawing is beautiful you will need to make another one, because your master surface won't last forever.
Is there anything more impermanent than an etching?