Monday, October 24, 2011

Field Trip Time!

Last week was Fall Break. In our house that means everyone is home including our teacher father. Fun! Rachel was even home from college so we took Friday afternoon to go up to the University of Utah (gasp!) and view one of her art pieces that has been in an art show at the Marriott Library. The piece was a book she made in her print making class last spring. It was her final project and I think it is amazing!

Here is my girlie and her book. It opens like an accordion which is very cool and she made the pretty end papers on the inside of each cover. The subject is "Dante's Inferno". I will let Rachel tell you how she made the prints...
Hey there, hi there, ho there folks! Please excuse my fake smile in the above picture. I acknowledge the fact I could have tried a little harder to look happy.

Mom asked me if I could take a minute and explain to you all how I created this book.

The images you see below on the white paper were printed with the zinc intaglio method. (Pronounced "In-tal-e-oh.")
Step 1: Draw out pictures. I used ballpoint pen.

Step 2: I took 3"x4" zinc plates and covered them in a substance called 'hard ground.' I honestly have no idea what hard ground is, but if any of you have ever played around with 'scratch boards' it's a little like that.

Step 3: I took the ballpoint pen drawings and placed them behind tracing paper and traced over them with pencil. When I was done with that, I placed the tracing paper (graphite side down) on top of the hard ground covered plates and ran them through a high powered press transferring the graphite onto the hard ground.

Step 4: I took a long, sharp etching needle and and followed my graphite lines over the hardground and scratched it away, revealing the zinc plate beneath.

Step 5: After I had scratched away all the pencil lines, I was left with a hard ground plate that had shiny silver lines of zinc showing. I took the plates and placed them in--duhn, duhn, duhnnn--an acid bath. (Not strong enough to eat my hands off, thank heavens, because I got it alll over my hands.) After letting it soak in the acid for...8-10 minutes I took it out, cleaned the hard ground off and I was left with a clean plate.

Step 6: I then scraped ink over the lines and ran them through the press again, at an even higher pressure, and that is how I got the final image. (Of course this was just the lines. The shaded areas were done with a different method entirely, but that's even harder to explain. So I won't bother.)

The words on the above page, and Dante's face on the page right before that were just printed off from a computer. Sorry to disappoint everyone...I might be awesome, but I'm not that awesome.
After all the above steps were repeated 9 times, and then printed 12 times each (For a total of 111 pieces of paper cut down to size and 111 times of running it through the press) I assembled 6 books by hand. I think I got a total of 5 hours of sleep that week.

If you have any other questions just Facebook me. I'm too lazy to type anymore.

Isn't she awesome, and funny? I agree!


Sarah Faria said...

Wow!! Rachel-you are amazing!! A fine piece of work being displayed at such a fine University! ;)

Ellsworth Party of Four said...

How fun to have evryone home...including your TALENTED Rachel. Seriously!

URFAVE5 said...

All I can say is WOW!!! Seriously that is absolutely AMAZING!!! Conner would be in such awe of Rachel. He loves to draw and is actually pretty good at it, he could learn so so much from Rachel if we lived closer. I am so impressed with her talent and work.

Glad you got to have everyone home for a visit!

Lori said...

Well she lost me at Step 2 . . . what a lot of work ~ but what an amazing piece of art. Very sweeet!

Anonymous said...

Holy Cow...this is amazing! What a beautiful book and gorgeous artwork. I wish it was on display at God's School so we could visit it on our next trip up north.