Soft Ground, is an acid resistant coating made of asphaltum, rosin, beeswax, and
tallow. The addition of tallow keeps the ground from drying to hard surface. A soft
ground line has the character of a pencil or crayon drawing. Anything pressed into
the soft, waxy ground - with a texture such as lace or fingerprints - will cause the
ground to yield under pressure. Soft pencil or crayon-like lines can be created by
placing paper over the surface of the soft-ground plate, then drawing on the paper.
A second method of soft ground etching is to imprint textures into the surface
of the soft ground you can use any thin, flat material (gauze, dry foliage, lace,
fabric). Textures can be imprinted into the soft ground by hand burnishing, by
disturbing the soft ground with fingertips, brushes, etc., or by impressing a
texture across the surface of the plate using the printing press.
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This course is is devided into two distinct parts:
Part One (5 weeks)
You will be introduced to the soft ground technique through the processing and manufacturng of two seperate test plates;
The first plate, using an indirect drawing method, and
The second plate, using found materials in a collage form.
Part Two (3 weeks)
The second part of this course will consist of an assignment project. During the
course of the first module you will be given a creative theme assignment. Preparatory
drawings and the collection of research materials will be done on a individual basis
outside of studio time. You will not be left alone - we will be keeping an eye on you to
help develop your creative thinking skills.
This research will culminate in the production of a black and white soft ground etching
utilizing one, or a combination of both techniques, covered during the manufacturing
of the test plates in the first part of the course.
A one hour group critique of your final print will be incorporated.