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Stone Lithography

This semester in printmaking we were introduced to stone lithography and I quickly fell in love with it. The process itself is absolutely mad. I have no clue how anyone came up with it. First the image is drawn onto a slab of limestone with something greasy. When I first saw the stones I was amazed. Its a proper workout moving them around! Then the stone is etched using gum arabic and nitric acid. The reaction that happens turns all the greasy drawing oleophillic (attracts grease) and the uncovered stone hydrophillic (attracts water). When the ink is rolled on, it only sticks to the image that was drawn, meaning that the image can be printed again and again.


What really drew me to this process what the drawing side of it. I really enjoyed using tusche to create textured backgrounds on the stone. In my last print, you can see where the tusche has followed a natural crack in the stone and has created this lovely effect. I think that I really liked how heavily this process relies on drawing as well, as it is definitely one of my stronger areas and it allowed me to play with line and tone in a way I hadn't before.



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