Mezzotint: rocking the plate

After my last post, a friend of mine expressed interest in this process so I decided to add more detail on how I’m creating the matrix plate for my mezzotint.

feb2014 008 Here is a close-up of the serrations on the rocker.

IMG_7207 This will give you an idea of how small the grooves are. When the rocker is “rocked” across the plate, those small indentations will pit the surface of the metal plate.

feb2014 016 feb2014 017 This is what is meant by “rocking”. It’s quite literal! The rocker is held perpendicular to the plate and rocked back forth while moving it slowly down the plate.

feb2014 015 This is my “cheat sheet” so I can keep track of the directions of the rocking. Once the entire plate is rocked in each of these directions, the surface should be suitably rough and, when inked, it should print a velvety black surface.

feb2014 018 This is the current state of the plate. Once I’m finished with the rocking, I will do a test print to determine whether any more work will need to go into the surface.

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