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Re: Degreasing

Hello Mary

> I like the sound of what your'e doing, printing on aluminum pop cans is
> neat.

Thanks.  It has been quite fun - except for the inevitable problem of
the thin little plate concertina-ing in your face while you are
wiping it and of course the sharpness of the edges.

 As to degreasing, what kind of ink are you using?  I would assume
> it is oil based, if so, degreasing before inking isn't always necessary as
> you're applying an oil based ink.  If you are using a water based ink, of
> course you need to.  Generally degreasing is needed before applying
> a ground or aquatint.

I am using oil based ink, but find that without degreasing before the
first print of the day, the plate tends to scum considerably, which
makes wiping almost impossible.  By the time I 'retire' from
printmaking I'll have one very developed right arm!  Is there any
real alternative to wiping the plate with one's hand?

>Also, a very light etch, 30 seconds in a 16
> to 1 nitric bath will clean a plate, as might a citric acid or vinegar
> bath.

Thanks.  I'll try this.

I majored in printmaking at university and was never really taken in
by the concept of anally doing the same miserable thing on these
supremely shiny plates.  But I was totally seduced by the alchemy of
printmaking per se and the adrenalin rush that you get between
lifting the blotting paper off the image and seeing what you have
made.  Then I came across Walter Benjamin and his ideas of bricolage
and improvising with the tools at hand to make things.  After that it
turned into a process of coincidence, and I 'met' the work of Dieter
Roth and Marcel Broodthaers, to name a few.  I managed to purchase a
small printing press about five years ago, which fits into this
nebulous ideal quite perfectly.  It is a letterpress converted to
print intaglio, but in quite a temporamental and unpredictable
fashion, which makes it all the more exciting.  What type of work do
you do?


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