Today I was at the studio getting prepared for the Photo Etching workshop Rebecca and I are teaching this weekend. It is the first time we have taught photo etching since The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne called time on our using their facilities on the weekends.
It has taken us a while to find a suitable exposure unit, at a price we could afford and that we could also fit in the limited storage space we have in our studio. Once the unit was purchased there has also been a period of experimentation to find out the best exposure times for anything from digital positives to photocopies, hand drawn/hand painted positives on acetate or drafting film.
Our biggest challenge tomorrow will be the initial exposure times of everyone's plates to a dot screen (only unnecessary if using digital positives using grayscale). Exposure times are much longer than we were used to at the University - 15 minutes instead of 30 seconds/1 minute. In a busy class of 10 this will be tricky to manage but ... we have a plan.
Today I was walking my way through the plan to try and anticipate where potential problems might arise. Rebecca has provided lots of examples of hand drawn/painted positives using everything from pencil, china graph, wax/oil crayon, to touche toner, indian ink, black gouache. I set up the two rooms (our studio and the hall), realised the exposure unit had to go in a different position because of the spot and tungsten lights which will affect the light sensitive film.I also had to think through how to set out hte stations in the studio - wet area, dry area, cutting area, plate degreasing area so that it all works smoothly tomorrow. I'll update tomorrow and let you know whether it all worked or if we have to rethink some things for the future.