Feathers & Lace on zinc. Zinc is softer than copper, but like copper and brass, it allows me to use a range of grounds for etching; soft ground and hard ground for transferring flat objects and images directly onto the surface of the metal, and I also use aquatints, sugar-lifts and line-drawing. I also employ lithography techniques to all metals I work with and aerosols and anything that is transferrable is acid-resistant and has an edge.
These grounds act as acid-resistant to prevent metal erosion, so in a sense, you work backwards or in the negative to achieve a positive outcome. I use this type of imagining when I paint or draw with inks. The objects I use in etching on the plates are sources that I use in my painting too. They act as the characters or gestures or as a metaphor for telling my story which isn’t immediately recognisable or literal. Nor is it abstract. I see them as sources that I immediately relate to as a reason for existing, a part of everyday life; a series of components that make up the presence or energy of the work when I look at a particular work in isolation from its series and everything else around it or when it is exhibited as part of the series in isolation. My printmaking and drawing are a graphic statement on the role of existing in the world that supports the organic nature of my painting. The narrative is made up. of a composite of forms shapes and objects that bring incident and meaning to everyday patterns and experiences in life. Feathers & Lace on copper and all the other collections are available for public and private exhibition.
The acids I use are nitric and hydrochloric which have their own identifiable properties. It takes a while to understand each of their characters. One acid bites wide and deep while the other bites directly deep into the metal. Sometimes I use a Dutch Mordant for a slow bite in copper. This is evident in the quality of the print where the print is deep and black and the edge of the bite is clean and crisp. What I mean is that the ground I use doesn’t erode in the acid during the bite time and when I use a feather to brush away the bubbles when the acid is biting. Biting in acid can be a long and careful process, but I use printmaking processes in the same way as I use to paint and ink or charcoal. Everything has its personality and aura to work with. It’s a meeting a collaboration to discover how to get the best out of one another. It’s a process of cooperation. I use 250 – 300 gm paper, Velvet or rough depending on the subject I’m working with.
The Feathers & Lace on zinc collection is available for public and private exhibitions. The works range in size from 30cm x 30cm / 50cm x 50cm / 45cm x 75cm.
Visit the feathers & lace collections: http://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/cat/feathers-lace/
Visit the work in the collection at the Imperial War Museum, London: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/13013
Visit the current paintings: http://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/item/current-paintings-2021/
Visit the Work page: http://www.derekhill.co.uk/work/