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Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Currawongs

Ok, so, I charged up my camera battery and put it in, ready to take photos for new years eve and... my camera has finally died. I think it must be all the dropping of it. I've never been very good at holding on to it! So I went into town yesterday and simply had to buy a new one. So I'm all ready now and here we go...

My larger recent work.
I remember first hearing currawongs when I lived in Abbotsford. They actually say "currawong currawong." I think they are lovely looking birds, about the size of a crow but a little bit sleeker. Apparently they are a little bit evil and rather clever.



My original drawings of the currawongs were done with black ink and a brush (see above) and I wanted to recreate this effect in etching by using sugarlift. This process involves painting your image onto the plate with a sugar solution. You let it dry and then paint diluted bitumen over the top and let that dry. Then put the plate into warm water and the areas where the sugar solution was painted lifts off, exposing the copper plate below. An aquatint is then applied by dusting the plate (still with the bitumen covering the areas where the sugar solution was not lifted) with fine rosin grains and melting them with a flame. Aquatint creates texture on the surface of the plate so it picks up more ink and creates an even dark tone. Then place the plate into the acid for the desired length of time. When the plate is ready take it out of the acid, clean off the bitumen and melted aquatint grains and you are ready to ink up and print.

4 comments:

Amie Roman said...

Beaut Currawongs! I miss their song; I lived in Aus for the better part of a year, and that was one of my favourite birdsongs. Nice job capturing them. I sketched one on her nest and you could just barely see her tucked away amongst the foliage; all the people on my tour wondered what the heck I was drawing, but I knew :)

I just love your birds, B. Nice job capturing their essences.

Jo Horswill said...

These are beautiful...you have certainly captured the strength of these birds with the sugarlift and aquatint techniques...

Rebecca said...

These are stunning. All that work really pays off, the printing process really gives the images a special kind of 'life'.

Sue said...

These are quite wonderful - I love crows and these sleeker versions are splendid birds. Beautiful work too.