The Elmhurst Art Museum currently has an exhibit of works by Lee Sturges, a printmaker from Elmhurst, Illinois. My full review of the exhibition is in the works. I was doing a little research on Lee and found out that he built his own custom etching press in 1916.
Printmaking was alot of fun in college, especially in the days of Ann Taulbee/Murakishi. However, many of my classmates, including myself, “engraved” the thought in our minds that we couldn’t seriously make a livelihood based on printmaking. The thought of building a custom etching press never crossed my mind.
This changes the whole ball game… well except for the whole acid part of etching. That’s quite tricky. I wonder how Lee Sturges handled all the acid in his home studio.
Actually, Henrik Boegh published a book in 2003 on less toxic ways to do printmaking. See bottom of the list of links below. Though it seems Keith Howard beat Henrik to the punch. He published his non-toxic printmaking book in 1998. Again, see bottom of list for link. I experienced a nitric acid burn on the face in college while working the printmaking shop, so non-toxic printmaking sounds very soothing.
Electroetch doesn’t use biohazardous material such as nitric acid. Though there’s no info on where to buy this stuff. It looks to be copyrighted and only accessible though the Contact section of their website.
review of Keith Howard’s book, “The Contemporary Printmaker, Intaglio-Type & Acrylic Resist Etching” published in 2003. Also has a link to site selling the book. $49.50 plus $5.50 shipping. Claims itself to be “The Contemporary Printmaking Bible”.