Surrounded by Beauty – An etching in progress

Heike Taschner has been surrounded by beauty her whole life, being brought up on a rose farm. This week we would like to share her work in progress with you.

Here she is working on her artwork: “Single White and Shadow”, while demonstrating her etching process.

Etching is a traditional intaglio printmaking process, in which lines or areas are incised using acid into a copper plate, in order to hold the ink.

To prepare the plate for etching, it is first polished to remove all scratches and imperfections from the surface. You then use a strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface, to create a design in intaglio in the plate.

She started by observing, photographing and sketching the roses. The simplicity and open centre of this 5 petal rose, that grows and flowers abundantly, captures my attention ever so often. Upon sketching in the dusk, I observed this beautiful and modest rose’s dark shadow pattern. I contemplated the association of roses that bring joy, white that often symbolises purity and shadow, in contrast, that we often connect with darkness and fear. How come? For without darkness we cannot see the stars and even the seed springs from the dark earth. Light and dark are opposite states of being and integral parts of life that afford opportunity to appreciate and grow from whatever state of being we are in, for it is never permanent.

Next, she etches the final sketch onto the copper plate. To create depth in tonal value, she also used aquatinting, and darkened the rose shadow by allowing an open bite of the plate.

The backgrounds, much to her liking, of the Variable Editions are experimental decisions taken whilst she was inking the plates.

“I thoroughly value the printmaking process that requires patience and understanding for the rich history and etiquette, and enjoy the process as it unfolded.”

She decided to print only 8 Editions – some Variables – on Hahnemühle 300g paper.

This beauty is available here:

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