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Aluminium Etching

We have much to thank Nik Semenoff for. He pioneered this technique and has been so instrumental in the Safer Printmaking movement over the years. These days we can all enjoy the fruits of Nik’s labour as we discover and work with one of his truly amazing printmaking techniques.

A funny Aluminium Etching story with a happy ending

When I first heard of Aluminium etching, one Tuesday 25 years ago, I armed myself with the recipe and a piece of Aluminium and rushed home.  At this time I lived in an isolated beachside location - a boat ride and car journey to the nearest shops - and press :(

The plate was too big to fit any of the plastic containers I had at home so I turned a painting stretcher over and lined it with a plastic garbage bag to use as the etching bath.

I can't tell you how uplifting the feeling was as the image began to take shape - so different to working with copper or zinc plate, more immediate and bolder.

Since I didn't have a press in those days I had to wait until the next Tuesday to print, but it was a real success, foul biting and all. I still have the plate somewhere and an image of a print appears below, I was into Caravaggio at the time...

Robin, my sister, and I have been using and teaching this technique ever since and to say we love it is an understatement.


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