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  • Call for Art - 9th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 5th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 5th Annual Leaves & Petals online art..
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  • Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human Spirit: Nikola Wojewoda

    Location: Niagara on the lake, ON

    The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre presents Exaltation : Intangible Journeys of the Human..
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  • HUB @ 302

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all juried members, associate and non-members to..
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  • Open Call for 2020 exhibitions

    Location: Vernon, BC

    We are an artist run gallery seeking submissions from emerging artists for our..
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  • Beacon Original Art Fall Show & Sale

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Saturday October 19, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Featuring more than 30 artists..
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  • Open Call:

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    The Federation of Canadian Artists (FCA) is having an open exhibition for members..
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  • Open Call: All 10

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Calling all Canadian Artists! This is an open submission call for a lightly..
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  • Earth

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists invites all Juried, Life, Student, Associate Members and..
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  • Reza Rezaï / Mehmoon

    Location: Calgary, AB

    TRUCK Contemporary Art is pleased to present Mehmoon by Reza Rezaï. Through the..
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  • Outside, In

    Location: Lethbridge, AB

    Opening reception September 28th 7-9pm for the Allied Art Council's Gallery Stroll! OUTSIDE,..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • “Motion” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline October 31, 2019

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Moving or being moved. Shifting, stirring, changing places. The rise and..
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  • Beaver Sheppard: Solo Exhibition

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary presents a comprehensive solo exhibition of Beaver Sheppard’s artistic canon, for..
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  • ANCESTRAL MINDSCAPES

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Ancestral Mindscapes is an autobiographical collaboration using video, sound and photography to explore..
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  • Clay Tile Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Participants will be working with clay to hand-build tiles using a variety of..
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  • Edible and Medicinal Gardening Lecture

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Ukrainian settlers brought with them a wide range of traditional knowledge and practices,..
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  • Acrylic Painting for Beginners

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Do you want to create a bright & beautiful acrylic landscape in one..
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  • Willow Heart Weaving Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Willow Heart Weaving Workshop In this workshop, participants will learn how to trim and..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition, invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • Invisible by PAINTER8

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Please join us at PAINTER8, and other Edmonton art lovers alike, for the..
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  • 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour

    Location: Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON

    The 19th Annual Stouffville Studio Tour is an event you don’t want to..
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  • Wheat Centrepiece Workshop

    Location: Edmonton, AB

    Join this class to learn how to make a didukh-style centrepiece that can..
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  • Radio Silence

    Location: Quebec city, QC

    Québec, August 19, 2019 – Folie/Culture invites all those who express themselves through..
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  • LOOK AGAIN!

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    LOOK AGAIN! PAINTINGS BY KATHLEEN SLAVIN AND GAIL PRPICK AT UNIVERSITY..
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  • Watercolour Workshop with Frank Townsley

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Sunday 22nd September 10.00 AM - 5.00 PM ..
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  • Figureworks 2019

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Figureworks 2019 Call for Artists The call for submissions to the 10th annual juried..
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  • Quasi-Nature

    Location: Montreal, QC

    Archive Contemporary Art Gallery is pleased to present Quasi-Nature, a group exhibition curated..
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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2019 Fall Online International Exhibition

    Location: Windsor, ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Unsettling Nature

    Location: Toronto, ON

    An Exhibition at: The Garage Gallery Benmiller with Artists Jill Price, Leslie Putnam, Morag Webster..
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  • Through the Eyes of a Child

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    Artists Statement: Ed Flanagan My wife had a career as an elementary school..
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  • Exposition solo Lac-Mégantic

    Location: Lac-Mégantic, QC

    L'eau, une mine d'Art du 8 juillet au 8 septembre 2019..
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  • Sustainable Fashion Designer Looking for Studio Space in Mississauga

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    Hi, I'm Amanda, I am an emerging fashion designer starting my business designing..
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  • 32 Points- 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace

    Location: Toronto, ON

    32 Points - 32 Voices: A Compass of Peace International Exhibition September 6-27, 2019 Cedar Ridge..
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Printmaking Series (3 of 21) - Copper sulfate for etching both zinc and aluminium

By Nik Semenoff June 21, 2004

} Copper sulfate for etching both zinc and aluminium Printmaking Series - Part 3 of 21 By Nik Semenoff Nitric acid is a dangerous chemical, but has been the main mordant used by etchers for centuries. There are many mordants with acids being the main ingredient. Recently, ferric chloride has become more common for copper as this chemical is used in making electronic circuit board. Using it to etch zinc is not a good idea but printmakers try as they look for safer methods. Aluminium is generally not used much for intaglio as artists consider it incapable of giving fine detail or large editions. Because of the cost of zinc plates, one of my students felt she could not finish her assignments and wonder if a cheaper metal could be used. Since I required only six for an edition, aluminium would be good enough, but we were using nitric acid as mordant for zinc or copper. We chose not to use ferric chloride and stannous chloride proved to be too expensive. Falling back on my experience, but somewhat limited knowledge of chemistry, I looked at copper sulfate as a mordant. Within a short time I found the problems of using aluminium and the best additives for the copper sulfate solution, so that by the time I was to teach a summer session class, I had a working process. It was eventually published in an international referred journal and has become the basis for of other printers' work with copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is one of the heavy metals and restricted in some jurisdictions, especially where grapes are grown; used with lime (Bordeaux mix), it has contaminated ground water. When used as a mordant and recycled a number of time, it can eventually be disposed of as a solid in regular waste. Check with local restrictions. Common salt is added to increase the activity of the mordant for both zinc and aluminium. When etching only aluminium, a small amount of sodium bisulfate is added to prevent aluminium hydroxide gel forming - this can be obtained from Sani Flush at the grocery store. Yoko Imabayashi Most resists will work, so all common etching technique can be employed. The action on aluminium in an open bite produces a rough surface so an aquatinting tone can be achieved without rosin. During etching, there is a very small amount of hydrogen produced that constantly pushes out the fine copper particles created from the electro-chemical reaction. So that unlike ferric chloride, the plate does not have to be etched upside down. As the copper is removed from the bath, it will lose its' blue color, indicating how strong it still is. By adding more copper sulfate, the bath can be extended. An remarkable thing happens when the bath sits for a while. The sulfate radicals in the solution attack the fine particles of copper and returns the bath back into a stronger mordant as it recycles itself. Yoko Imabayashi It works very well on zinc and the best replacement for ferric chloride when etching this metal. Some are concerned with the black surface left where the etching takes place. The mordant works just as fast as any other and can be mixed so strong that the reaction can cause the solution to boil. ________________________________________________ Copyright © 2004 Nik Semenoff Nik Semenoff Artist-in-residence University of Saskatchewan Visit Nik Semenoff's website at duke.usask.ca/~semenoff/ for more information.