Lisa Houck

Lisa Houck

Boston, MA
Family of Three, Etching / Aquatint
10 x 10

In this etching entitled “Family of Three,” I worked on a zinc plate. I used nitric acid to “bite” lines and textures into the plate. One of the textures used in etching is called aquatint. For aquatint I scattered grains of rosin onto the plate, and then melted the rosin over a hotplate. When the plate with the rosin was placed in the acid, it was etched around each grain, creating a pattern of dots on the plate. To print an etching, ink is rubbed into these lines and textures, and the excess ink is wiped off of the plate. The film of ink left on the plate often leaves a “plate tone” on the paper. I chose etching as the medium for this artwork because I like the roughness and tactile quality of metal that is eaten away by the acid. I was able to create beautiful blacks and subtle tonalities that cannot be achieved with other techniques.