Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Coming Soon! New Magical Secrets Book

Crown Point Press master printer Emily York’s new book, Magical Secrets about Aquatint: Spit Bite, Sugar Lift & Other Etched Tones Step-by-Step is due out in April. If you would like to pre-order, email, or give us a call at 415.974.6273.

I caught Emily for a few minutes between printing tasks to ask her about the new book and what she learned writing it.

KLB: If there is one common error that you hope people will never make again after reading your book, what is it?

EY: Over-melting the rosin. It’s something I did in college, and I was always trying to correct it in the printing, but it’s actually a mistake people make right at the beginning of the process.

KLB: When you were researching the book, what work did you fall in love with the most? I remember you getting excited about Tony Cragg.

EY: I only knew some of the artists in the book through the prints they made here before I started the research. It was really great to find the connections between their outside work and the prints. Tony Cragg’s sculpture was one of those surprises.

KLB: What is your favorite technique to explain?

EY: In terms of aquatint, something spontaneous that people like the idea of right away is spit bite. You’re etching the plate directly, by painting with acid on a plate prepared with rosin. The mark you make on the plate is the mark you see printed, so it’s conceptually the easiest. It’s really easy to grab onto and jump right in. A lot of people like the look of it, plus it has a quirky little name.

I kept thinking, “Oh, this chapter’s going to be easy, it’s just spit bite!” But there are all these things that you do without thinking. There is a lot more information than I thought. In the first two chapters those little things are especially important because they make the foundation for every other technique. That’s what I was excited about sharing, because the easiest little changes can make a huge difference.

KLB: How would you like your book to change the way people think about printmaking?

EY: For me, the most important thing about this book is the opportunity to relate the techniques to contemporary artists who are working now. I like to see artists discovering new approaches to these techniques all the time, the back and forth between their prints and other studio work. I like to be able to say to people, “You should try this too!”

--Kim Bennett


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