Vaseline Etching Masterclass At Hot Bed Press

It’s taken me a while to get around to writing this up, back on a chilly December evening, upwards of 30 people gathered at Salford’s Hot Bed Press printing studios for a demonstration and introduction to the wonders of ‘Vaseline etching’. Led by Martin Kochany, vaseline etch is a method devised by Martin, using vaseline (or any other brand petrolium jelly) to ‘stop out’ the acid used during the etching process.

Martin Kochany introducing vaseline etching

During the demonstration, he showed the different methods of using the vaseline, but first stressed the importance of aquatinting the plate first – this ensures that the metal plate you’re using has a bitten or uneven surface – something for the vaseline to cling to, if you use an untreated plate, the vaseline will not adhere to the surface. The first method was painting the vaseline on to the plate can create a painterly, soft strokes. But for me the unexpected and exciting news was that you can also incorporate photographic imagery via a silkscreen, including layering multiple images.

Using a photoscreen

Here you can see the image that Martin created in rapid speed drawn with a paint brush

Print with vaseline painted on with a brush

And here you can see what the image applied via the photo screen looks like

Print from photo screen

Both methods have really nice qualities, and the demonstration left me really excited and buzzing with ideas to take my etchings in a totally new direction.

The next Masterclass at Hot Bed Press is ‘The Book as Art’ on 7th February, for more info click here

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