Some images from the workshop, including the ‘Rocker’ used to score the surface of the copper plate, an image seen in three different proof stages within the process of creating the print, and the final image is the final plate I made during the workshop; a circular image depicting the veils of mist falling over the horizon.
The process is not an easy one. First you use the rocker, moving it over the surface of the plate as you rock it from side to side, turning the plate slightly after each completed journey. The plate needs to be rocked for around 40-50 rotations, so the option to work on a small scale is very appealing as it takes so long to prepare each plate!
Once rocked, the plate can then be worked into and to do this you use a selection of different blades to scrape lightly at the surface in order to remove and smooth down areas that had previously been roughed by the rocker. The smooth areas, depending on how much and how hard or light you scrape, become lighter tonal areas when the plate is printed. This is because the textured ‘rocked’ surface holds a lot of ink whereas the smooth areas can be wiped clean. This makes for very interesting prints and mezzotint is a great process if you are looking to create rich dark areas yet want subtle tonality within the image.
It is worth checking out the work of Tom Kosmo as he is one of the few Norwegian printmakers specialising in Mezzotint.
Also the Mezzotint work of John Martin is always a good example of the excellent usage of the play between light and dark which this process facilitates so wonderfully.