This weekend our first photo etching workshop at our studio took place. The preparations we made in advance really paid dividends. Consequently, Rebecca put together a step by step checklist for each day which we could both check off where we were up to. This also meant no health & safety areas got neglected because either of us assumed the other covered it. It does need tweeking for day two when we run the course again in the future.
One of those tweeks, should in my opinion, be getting the whole group to make test strips for exposure times for their individual positives. Not only is this good practice anyway but given the nature of the positives people bring, anything from photocopies (some over exposed, some under), digital positives, hand drawn/painted positives on drafting film or acetate it is extremely difficult to come up with a hard and fast rule for correct exposure times no matter how many test pieces either of us do. To an extent the more we use the exposure unit and the more experience we gain from using it in our own work we will get a better feel for it. Nevertheless it is still good practice for our students to learn how to do this for themselves.
It is a challenge managing students expectations. We had to stop people rushing on making multiple plates before printing their first plates. One or two students needed to be reined in because the rush to get on resulted in mistakes and their plates had to be stripped and redone - very frustrating for them and a waste of expensive film sometimes not once but a couple of times.
I'm looking forward to the photos of the final prints from today which I will post when I get them from Rebecca and I'm looking forward to the summer school now.