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Terry Russell: “I’ve always painted, favouring oil. About 4-5 years back, in the course of a Liverpool Late Night, I wandered into the Intaglio Studio at the Bluecoat, met the dynamic Emma Gregory, made a drypoint print on card & was bitten and smitten in a trice. Probably my oil painting was not thrilling me at the time. Intaglio required rethinking line, tone & composition in monochrome: soft & hard sharp lines; burred lines in drypoint; dense, velvet black within a range of tones.
Since the, I’ve explored ‘safe’ etching with acrylic sprays & resists with copper sulphate as a mordant as well as dangerous (!) etching with zinc in nitric acid. Etching using electrolysis still consumes hours of experiment.
I’ve chosen to show a test strip rather than a print: it confirms a journey rather than an arrival. My image is from copper in ‘Edinburgh etch’ (ferric chloride + citric acid), one side of the plate aquatinted using my newly-constructed rosin box, the left etched through hard ground. It was the range of tones and the lovely black that thrilled me in this new (for me) combination of mordant, rosin & metal. After the sixth stepped bite, the aquatint can be seen to be breaking down. (Lots of foul bite also due to the long test – ignore that!)
On the Wirral we have the Bluecoat in Liverpool, Hotbed Press in Salford and the Regional Print Centre at Wrexham all within reasonable access, and printmakers are a sharing group of people.”