Photo-etching: Glasgow | Berlin
In November 2013, Gloria Alonso Gonzalez, the etching studio assistant at Kulturwerk BBK Print Studio in Berlin, visited Glasgow Print Studio (GPS) to shadow my own work photo-etching. I planned to make a 3-plate, colour, photo-etching with her, demonstrating my use of Photrak, a light-sensitive emulsion on large steel plates. The emulsion can be rolled onto the plates in the same manner as relief printing ink and allows for the translation of very small dots from a positive film. The resulting print is created from three layers of transparent colours printed in layers.
In July 2014, I then visited BBK in Berlin to teach a small group of students this method of colour photo-etching, working again with Gloria. Located in Bethanien, a Renaissance hospital, in the Kreuzberg area of the city, the print studio is large and wonderfully equipped. We took advantage of their digital area to print the films for each artist and then the dark rooms and etching studio to produce the copper plates.
We had great fun and learned lots. For me, it is a real challenge to have to make this technique work for images that are very detailed and focussed as these are very different to my own. For most of the artists working with me, working with colour and multiple plates was new, especially for photographic images.
Michael Schonke, Gloria and myself with lithographer, Peter Velguth