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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Call for Proposals: 2020 The WALL Artist

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Vancouver Heritage Foundation is now accepting proposals from independent artists and curators for..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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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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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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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.