I moved studios nine days ago,and am currently in the middle of setting things up in the new space. It's a process that will probably take until the end of the month, which in turn means that I won't get seriously into making new work until March. This is one of the reasons why I postponed moving from my last studio in Wicker Park, even though that one had been very unsuitable for me for a long time: I hate the whole moving thing, the waste of time involved in packing up boxes, throwing things out, moving, and unpacking the boxes at the other end.
But it's done, and now I have a clean slate to set up a new space in the way I want, and to try to get it right this time. The ceilings are very high in this space, so no more scraping the flesh off my scalp like I did many times in the previous space. I've got a printmaking area set up already (see photo above), and on Sunday I decided to give it a test drive, using an etching that I made in 1998:
It's a four inch x four inch copper plate, with a deep aquatint on it created by a combination of sugarlift, and marbling the plate by dabbing it onto stop-out resist floating on the surface of water in a dish (to create that swirling pattern).
The print that I took from the plate was as crisp as fifteen years ago:
So that's another piece of great advice that I got from my printmaking teacher in London: to preserve copper plates for a long time from oxidization (which turns the plates green, like statues left out in the open for centuries): coat the plates with a thick layer of vaseline.