'Memento Mori'

Cat skull etching.jpg

'Memento Mori' is a zinc plate aquatint etching, printed onto Fabriano Rosaspina 285gsm acid free paper with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink. This print is based on a photograph of my old Maine Coon cat Finnegan. He sadly passed away a few years ago at the good old age of 14 years.

drawing.jpg

Like most of my prints the first stage was to draw out the design in my sketchbook. Before transferring the design to the zinc plate however, I first had to prepare the plate. This involves filing down the edges, polishing, and de-greasing. A thin 'hard ground' is then applied. This protects the plate from the copper sulphate that is used to etch. I used Charbonnel liquid ground for this print. Once the ground is dry the image is transferred using white carbon paper. This acts as a guide for me to gently scratch the image into the ground, exposing the metal.

Once the line is drawn, the plate is placed in a bath of copper sulphate for a few minutes. This etches just the exposed lines. 'Aquatinting' is the process of adding areas of tone. As this is a zinc plate, a spray aquatint was first applied over the line etching. I then used Lascaux stop out resit to protect certain areas. Like the ground before, any areas covered up are stopped from etching. This can be built up in layers to give the different tones.

cat etching hard ground.jpg
aquatint.jpg
etching plate 2.jpg

Here is a short video highlighting most of the steps in this ethcing process:

And here is the finished print. Printed onto  Fabriano Rosaspina 285gsm acid free paper with Cranfield Caligo safe wash oil-based ink.


This is a limited edition of 25 prints.

Actual print size: 20 x 12.5cm
Paper size: 29.5 x 23cm

final cat etching.jpg