Fog Bank V.E.
Bonnie Baker
Drypoint Etching
Drypoint with image transfer (2 separate images)
H 6.75in x W 17.75in
Fog Bank was made on a copper plate without the use of acid biting. Using an intaglio technique called Drypoint, Bonnie draws the image into the plate with a sharp pointed needle held at an angle. The metal is not eaten away as is the case in traditional intaglio techniques but pushed to the side of the scratched line creating a burr along the edges. It is the burr that catches and holds the ink when the plate is wiped giving the print a very distinctive soft fuzzy line. Crosshatching, scraping the plate with sandpaper, even using motorized tools like a Dremel tool or drill with grinding bits are ways Baker develops textures in the image. The image transfer of the swimmers was made using transfer paper and printed over a ghost print from a different series of etchings. "I often print the plate first with very transparent colours, building up the colour in layers gradually over each successive printing. Wiping selectively so some colours overlap and some stay pure allows three or four ink colours to become twice by time I reach the final printing. Between each print run, selective areas on the original plate are burnished or scratched depending on what I see has happened during the previous printing. There is no going back again and reprinting the series as the burr is flattened more and more each time the plate goes through the press and eventually stops holding ink." As a result drypoint editions are quite small with only 10 or less prints. Because drypoints have the inherent expressive quality of drawing, many artists including Rembrandt, Whistler and Picasso have used the technique so successively. Contemporary printmakers now experiment on many types of matrices when doing drypoint such as zinc, aluminium, plexiglass, and illustration board.