Stephen Fredericks

Stephen Fredericks

New York, NY
Heather (Winter), Soft Ground Etching with Surface Roll
18 x 21

“Heather (Winter)” is a soft ground etching with a surface roll printed on Somerset Brilliant White paper, 300gm in 2010.

PLATE MAKING and PRINTING

Routine plate preparation for a soft ground etching is the same as in hard ground etching accept that the ground applied to the surface remains ‘soft’ or pliable after application to the plate. In the case of Heather, a Charbonnel soft ground was applied to a warm plate with a rubber roller and placed on the press where an actual sprig of heather – dried and prepared in advance – was laid upon it. After layering lightly oiled wax paper over the plate and heather – using traditional etching blankets – the preparation was run thru the press under a pressure not unlike that for printing a damp 300 gram paper. This process caused the heather to displace the ground below exposing the copper plate for etching the impression. The plate was bitten in ferric chloride as in the normal etching manner for a total of approximately 40 minutes. After inking the plate in a traditional intaglio fashion, a proof was taken to remove a portion of the ink in the plate. Then the plate surface was rolled up will ink, and another proof taken of the ‘ghost’ and the fresh surface roll.