Tuesday, 5 June 2012
For my final ICP piece I have used a finishing technique that has taken quite a lot of experimentation. The finish not only uses a very random and unpredictable outcome but there is a sense of commitment to the fire. Also there is a massive amount of variation on finish quality depending on time in the fire, type of news paper used and modification to the paper.
The idea is simple but when done right it is very affective and also the simpler the better. Basically the finished Iron work is tightly wrapped in newspaper and this paper is burnt off, but there are a lot of variations that can change the finish. Firstly and most importantly is the speed and rate of burn I have found that a hot fire doesn’t work and will burn the paper to fast and then burn of the blackening. So a simple wood fire or a blowtorch works best the slower and longer the burn the better. Secondly paper type and thickness is most important good quality paper will almost defiantly affect the finish and more layers prevent blackening. Also magazine paper does not work well there are too many glosses and laminates on the paper and this prevents a “good clean” paper soot sticking to the metal. It will also stop the addition of coppers and tins in the ink sticking to the work that gives you the close up beetle shell finish.
And on the subject of ink the more on the paper the more colour change if you are looking for a nice green or blue then use newspaper with lot of images and thick text on it. I tried adding ink but this made little difference. Staining the paper with other inks does little to change the colour but this might be due to the type of fire I was using as there was hardly any soot transfer in fact I’m sure this is the reason why. I’m keen to try this more and also I’m keen to try wood chip finish also. Maybe trying different types of inks and paper and making some of my own prints. Also I would like to add copper and brass dust to the paper and see what happens.